Gawne, Helen2

Helen Margaret Gawne of Blenheim passed away on Monday April 8, 2013 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Born near Pardoville to the late Letson and Lilly (Spicer) Doey, Helen would have been 97 years old this June. She was one of four children, being survived by her sister Audrey Douglas of Victoria and predeceased by her brothers Gilbert and Carl Doey. Helen attended the University of Toronto on scholarship at the age of 16, and graduated with an Honours Degree with combined Majors in English and History. She taught High School in Mitchell, Blenheim and Ridgetown. During her career she taught English, History, French and Phys.Ed., served as English Department Head and as a Teacher-Librarian. She was also a Charter Member of University Women’s Club, Chatham Branch. Her love of reading, travel and her quest for knowledge never ceased. When asked of her greatest accomplishment in life however, Helen would reply that it was her family that she loved so much. On August 1, 1942 she married Clarence Gawne (predeceased 1981). They had five children; Cathie Blair of Ingersoll, Barbara Hogan of Whitehorse, Richard Gawne of Lone Butte B.C., Steven Gawne of Sidney, B.C. and Peter Gawne (predeceased at the age of 7 ). Helen was also blessed with nine grandchildren; Nathan and Andrew Dufton, Kieran and Brendan Hogan, Stephanie and Adam Gawne, Adolina, Edward and Matthew Gawne and two great grandchildren, Madelyn and Alexander Dufton. The Blenheim Community Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. It was Helen’s wish that cremation would take place followed by a private interment in Pardoville Union Cemetery where she will be laid to rest with Clarence and Peter. Given Helen’s commitment to reading and to children, it was her desire that friends wishing to remember her would consider a donation to Canadian Blind Mission, World Vision or a Children’s Charity of your choice. Online condolences for the family and memorial donations may be left at

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Filed Under: Chatham-Kent, London