Peacefully on January 14, 2020 Helen Mary Vandenbrink (nee Yerama) passed away in her sleep. Helen had just celebrated her 82nd birthday on January 5 with friends and family. Helen resided at St. Georges Manor in Dauphin,MB and was a strong advocate for the seniors in her complex.
Helen was born to Peter and Mary Yerama (Taback) of Gilbert Plains, MB on January 5, 1938 and her younger brother, Albert Yerama was born 1943. Helen moved from the farm and headed to Winnipeg where she attended Hertzing College. After her completion of her studies she started working at Chrysler Motors in Winnipeg where she met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Vandenbrink. They dated for several years and were married June 27, 1959. They were unable to have children so they adopted their first daughter, Carla Vandenbrink (born May 5, 1967). They resided on Regal Avenue in Winnipeg and in 1969 traveled to Europe. When they returned they adopted their second daughter, Shaney Vandenbrink (Feb 16, 1969).
Helen remained a stay at home mom until the girls were in school and then she worked at Miller’s Meat Market on St. Mary’s Road. In 1976 the family relocated to Dauphin and Helen started working at the Co-op Bakery. She loved working there and made many friends in the community. Helen’s nickname was the “cookie lady” and she handed a free cookie out to the children who were shopping with their parents.
In 1986 Helen and Albert’s father, Peter Yerama, passed away and Robert and Helen moved to Gilbert Plains and resided there for several years. Again Helen made many friends who remained friends until her passing. Robert's health was diminishing so they relocated back to Winnipeg and purchased a condo on Watson Street. Robert passed away on October 6, 2007, eventually Helen returned to Dauphin as her eldest daughter Carla was residing there with her husband Bernie Bilay and their two children, as well as they were raising their nephew and helping raise their two nieces. Helen wanted to help out and be with her family, as her family was the most important thing to her. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and teaching them skills, which they continue to love today.
Helen loved to travel. She has been to Mexico several times, Japan, Europe, Dominican Republic, Hawaii twice and several places in the US and Canada. Helen loved camping as well and spent many nights at Rainbow Beach with her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.
Helen was involved in the community and loved volunteering at the Dauphin Friendship Centre and the Senior Center. Helen was predeceased by her mother Mary; father, Peter; husband, Robert. She leaves to mourn her eldest daughter, Carla and (Bernie Bilay) and youngest daughter, Shaney, as well as her six grandchildren, Derek Bulmer, Randy Matvieshen, Courtney Matvieshen-Vandenbrink, Branden Bilay, Kaylen Matvieshen, and Brooklen Bilay, as well as her brother Albert (Linda) and nephews Kelly (Colleen) and Dion and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles.
In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dauphin Friendship Centre Hot Lunch Program.
Celebration of Life was held on Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 11:00 am from Mountain View Christian Assembly in Dauphin, MB with Pastor Scott Allen officiating. Lunch followed at the Dauphin Friendship Centre.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Mary (Yerama) Vandenbrink, please visit our floral store.
Dauphin Friendship Centre
210-1st Ave. NE, Dauphin MB R7N 1A7