Helen Murray was ‘strong, spirited and a true inspiration’

Helen Murray, who shared a birthday with Queen Elizabeth II, was named ‘Queen for the Day’ on her 90th birthday. Submitted photo

Tara Jeffrey

This is the second in a series of tributes to local residents lost to COVID-19 during the current pandemic.

Helen Murray, 94. Died April 9, 2020

Helen Murray (Tiffan) had just bounced back from a hip replacement and was doing “remarkably well” when COVID-19 struck, her family says.

“Her death was a shock to all of us,” says Jan Charrette, one of Helen and Bruce Murray’s three children. “She was strong, spirited and a true inspiration.”

Born and raised in Wallaceburg, Helen married Bruce nearly 70 years ago; together they delighted in their seven grandkids and one great-grandchild.

“They made a great team,” says Jan. “In their retired years, they would sit down together at 4 p.m. for their cocktail hour and talk about the daily news, world travels they had taken, or family matters.

“She loved her Manhattans.”

Helen was a dedicated volunteer, Jan adds. “Whether it was a class trip, teaching English as a second language, working in the church with the UCW or just visiting a sick friend.”

In recent years, Helen enjoyed her time at Landmark Village, especially playing cards with friends.

“Reading the funeral condolences, you would see words like ‘remarkable,’ ‘lovely,’ ‘kind,’ ‘compassionate,’ ‘heart,’ ‘wit,’ ‘great sense of humour,’ and she was all of that and more,” says Jan. “She had a regal streak about her. She shared a birthday with Queen Elizabeth, so on her 90th birthday we made her queen for a day — even though she reminded us that she was better looking than the queen.”

“I remember talking with her after she had a delightful day with family, especially grandchildren,” Jan adds. “She told me she knew the world would be in good hands with young people like her grandchildren.”


If you would like your loved one included in this series, please contact tara.jeffrey@thesarniajournal.ca