Helen C. Keith, dedicated her life to the care and wellbeing of her family and friends, passed away after a brief illness at the Winchester Hospital on Wednesday evening, September 17, 2008. She was 97 years old.
Helen was born in Montreal, Canada, the daughter of the late Patrick and Ellen Kavanagh. Her family emigrated from Canada when she was 7 years old and settled in Burlington. She was a homemaker. She enjoyed shopping, crosswords, television, and watching her family grow. Family was Helen’s number one priority. She took care of her parents and other family members when they were in need. She lovingly watched over her family and was blessed to be vital part her children’s, grandchildren’s, great grandchildren’s and great great grandchildren’s lives. She loved any event or activity, which involved her family. She will be lovingly remembered.
Helen was the loving mother of Dorothy Gonsalves & her husband Thomas of Woburn, Shirley Josephson & her husband Raymond of Woburn, Russell Murray, Jr. of Plymouth, the late John and Ralph Murray. She was the proud grandmother of 12, great grandmother of 23, and great great grandmother of 2. She was also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON, (exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Monday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Sunday 3-7 p.m. Interment in Calvary Cemetery, Winchester. Memorials in Helen’s name may be made to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St., Framingham, MA 01701.
Welcome, and thank you all for coming. We are all here today because each one of us was blessed with the privilege of knowing this amazing woman named Helen Keith.
Though we called her Nana, she also went by many other names. She was Mom, Sister, Aunt, Auntie, Grammy, and the occasional MA!
Born January 4, 1911 in Montreal Canada, Nana came to this country when she was just 7 years old. Married in her early 20s, she began raising the first of 5 children. She would spend the next 20-someodd years dedicated to the care and well-being of those children.
In addition to caring for her own family, she took in and cared for her aging mother and brothers in their later years. She was the consummate caregiver and lived for the opportunity to share her love with others.
Fast forward to October 2, 1998, she stood, 1 of over 100 immigrants assembled at the State House in Boston, MA, and proudly accepted her Certificate of Naturalization, FINALLY making her an official United Stated Citizen. She was 86 years old.
Nana loved to be surrounded by family and friends. She was always up for a party and attended every birthday, every christening, communion, confirmation, and every wedding in addition to any other reason we could think of for a party. She must have had a pretty sweet deal going with Hallmark Cards, because she never let a birthday or anniversary pass without sending a card, and hers was always the first to arrive!
In preparation for today, our families had, what most would assume would have been a very difficult time going through old pictures and remembering times we had spent with Nana. Quite the contrary, What a joy it gave us all! The pictures brought back so many memories. We just sat and laughed for hours as picture after picture was pulled from the box, each one carrying it‘s own special memory.