Helen Grace surrounds herself with family photos at home. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Lessons from living a long life

The Graces have been in Revelstoke for a long time

Helen Grace said the secret to living to age 93 is listening to your doctor.

“Do as the doctor orders,” she said. And take your pills.

Even after having two different types of cancer and having 90 cm of her large intestine removed, Grace is still very active. She said it’s important to leave the house.

She was born in Revelstoke, as was her mother.

“She’ll never leave,” said Lindsay Clarke, her granddaughter.

Lindsay Clarke is a nurse, just like her grandmother. (Submitted)

Clarke said her grandmother is an encyclopedia when it comes to Revelstoke.

When Clarke worked at the museum and people would come in with questions, she would phone her grandmother and pass the phone over.

Grace has three children, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Throughout her life, she’s been a valuable thread in the community.

She’s volunteered with the Revelstoke Museum, worked with ski school, went to choir, been superintendent of Sunday School at the Anglican Church and kept score for Little League.

Currently, she’s an Honour Guard with the Canadian Legion and volunteers for the adult day program at Moberly Manor.

“I like to be sociable,” said Grace.

Before she got married, Grace was a nurse and worked at the hospital in Revelstoke. She retired in 1950.

Living by herself can be slightly boring, she said. So, she keeps busy.

Before the Anglican Church closed two years ago, Grace was heavily involved with the congregation.

In the 1970s, she was the first elected female warden in Revelstoke.

That same year, she went to a meeting with other wardens from the Kootenays. When she arrived, she noticed the room was full of men.

They told her she had to go somewhere else as it was a private meeting for churchwardens. Grace replied she was one.

“And all their jaws just dropped,” said Grace, her eyes gave a sassy twinkle.

As a warden, Grace would represent the church at many local meetings and events.

During Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee, Grace was presented with a medal for her services to Canada by the governor-general, one of the few nationwide to receive such an honour.

Clarke said she’s trying to tackle life according to lessons learned from her grandmother.

“If I make it to 93, I hope I’m half as good as her,” said Clarke.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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Lindsay Clarke is a nurse, just like her grandmother. (Submitted)

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