Helen Argotoff passed away peacefully at Castleview Care Centre on April 28, 2013. She was born in Brilliant BC on August 24th, 1920 to parents Fred and Tina Reibin. She had two older sisters, Tina and Florence and a younger sister, Nellie.
The extent of Helen’s formal education was only grade 4 or 5, as her mother died quite young and she had to help with the family chores.
Helen was quite the tomboy in her younger days. She was very proud of a photograph of herself fearlessly standing on the top of a 10 foot stepladder, when she worked in the Okanagan picking apples and cherries. She did a lot of housekeeping in the Kootenay’s and also, worked at the Brilliant Jam Factory.
On December 27, 1947, Helen married Walter Argotoff, one of the Glade boys that came to Ootischenia to socialize. She moved to Glade with him and together, they had two children, daughter Shirley and son Bob. She also helped raise two children that Walter had from a previous marriage. Step-son Walter was 7 years old and step-daughter Helen was 6 years old at the time.
After several years in Glade, the family moved to Passmore where they had purchased a farm. By this time, the step-children had moved away from home but, they always kept a close connection. Husband Walter was a carpenter and worked away from home a lot so, Shirley and Bob helped their mom on the farm. Helen took great pride in her cows, chickens and gardening.
After her husband died in 1985, Helen moved to Crescent Valley, where she resided until she had a stroke in 2003. Since she could no longer live alone and needed full time care, she was eventually placed in Castleview Care Centre, where she remained until her passing.
Her doukhobor religion was very important to her. She was very devoted to attending meetings regularly, as well as any sort of festivals that were going on. She was very adamant about not working on Sundays as, it was her day of rest.
She would always remind her children and grandchildren to say their prayers. She was a kind, spiritual and very generous person.
Helen also loved singing, driving and socializing with friends. Another one of favorite pastimes was traveling. She toured Russia and France but, her favorite place to visit, was Mexico. She would go with a large group of ladies for a few months at a time. She loved to swim in the ocean and shop for her family. Everybody got lots of Mexican blankets. Helen also loved to hear and tell jokes..she loved to laugh…everybody always enjoyed having Helen around.
She was predeceased by her parents Fred & Tina Reibin, her husband Walter, her sisters Tina Popoff & Nellie Makortoff, as well as her son Bob Argotoff and step-son Walter Argotow and grandson Kelly Argotow.
Helen’s life always revolved around her family. Most importantly, her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She is loved and will forever be missed by her daughter Shirley, husband Ernie Pozney and family, daughter in law, Susan Argotoff and family, daughter Helen, husband John Ozeroff and family, and daughter in law Betty Argotow and family and one sister, Florence Saliken. She leaves behind four grandchildren: Leigha (Paul) Pidde, Chris (Tania) Pozney, Jenn (Sean) McCasky and Kevin (Trish) Argotoff and seven great grandchildren Kyra & Cadence Argotoff, Ellise & Jacob Piddle, Mila Pozney and Kailee & Jesse McCasky. She also leaves behind from her extended family, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Also many nephews and nieces and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on May 2, 2013, at Crescent Valley Hall, followed by burial at Krestova Cemetery.
The family would like to thank all friends and relatives for their prayers and support. Also, to Sid Malakoff for officiating the service, the singers, the Crescent Valley cooking group, Krestova gravediggers and Bill Strelaeff of the Castlegar Funeral Home, for his caring, compassionate, guidance and professional service.
A very special thank you to Dr. Merritt and the wonderful staff of Castleview, for their loving care of Helen during the time that she resided there.
May she rest in peace in God’s Heavenly Kingdom