Helen Margaret “Elma” Mulligan

(nee Anderson)

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Helen “Elma” Mulligan on Saturday, January 20th, 2024, surrounded by family at the age of 94 years.

Helen provided incredible love and support to her family and will be missed by her beloved husband Jim Mulligan and children Danny (Ria), Joe (Marilyn), Mickey Cuthbert, Diane (Allan) Davis, Bob (Kelley), Roy (Carrie), Ruth Mulligan, Barbara Mulligan, and special daughter Shelley Palmer. She also leaves to cherish her memory, her grandchildren: Keith, David, Guy (Jess), Michael (Megan), Erin (Joel), Kyle (Erin), Greig (Colleen), Karalyn (Clifford), Heather, Jeff, Shane (Crystal), Ryan (Brittany), Mark(Chelsea), Kurt, Ben (Sarah), Nick (Hayley), Amy (Jake), Julie (Mike), as well as 29 great-grandchildren, nieces: Bonnie, Debbie, Mary, Kim, and Leslie, nephew: David, and their families, along with cousins and other relatives in Canada and abroad.

She was predeceased by her parents Elizabeth and Archbold Anderson; brothers Doig (Helen), Bob (Mickey), Walter Anderson; brothers-in-law Bobby (in infancy), Terry Mulligan and sister-in-law Maureen Mulligan; son-in-law Alec Cuthbert and daughter-in-law Donna Mae Mulligan.

Helen was born in Fort William (now Thunder Bay) ON on Sunday, December 8, 1929. She grew up in the Westfort area and attended Francis Street School and the Fort William Collegiate Institute, later pursuing further learning through night school and other courses. Helen and Jim were married in Fort William at St. Patrick’s Church (now a cathedral) September 5, 1949. In 1966 they moved to Portage la Prairie where Jim was appointed Postmaster. They enjoyed the lakes, rocks, and forests of the Lakehead area, so living on the Prairies presented a new way of life. But they soon grew to love the wide skies, sunsets and golden fields, and especially the friendly people who helped them feel at home. Later, too, they discovered the beauty of Quetico Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario where they camped at French Lake, enjoying the many hiking trails, paddled their canoe, fished, and explored the lake and adjacent creeks. Once Jim retired, they spent a summer volunteering as Campground Hosts. That year they joined two young men on a week-long adventure into the interior of the park where one lake leads to another and another. The portages seemed brutal at times and the weather inclement but the glimpses of wildlife, the grandeur and solitude, and the companionship of friends created a never-to-be-forgotten experience. By this time the Mulligan offspring were grown and starting their own families, and family gatherings were frequent, often held at Westbourne where, thanks to friend Tony and cohorts, a new cabin was built to Helen’s specifications on a piece of Danny’s land.

Helen was a long-time member of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada, first in Fort William at St. Patrick’s and St. Agnes Churches and then St. John’s and the Good Shepherd CWL in Portage la Prairie. She held various offices in the League including that of President and would have earned her 75 year pin this year. Her interest in literature and writing was life-long and she was a founding member of Prairie Pens, a women’s writing group established in Portage la Prairie in 1969 that is still meeting. She was also an active member of The Canadian Authors Association in its day, and the Portage and District Arts Centre.

Prayers will be said Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 at 7:00 pm at Good Shepherd Church, Portage la Prairie, MB.. A Funeral Mass will be held also at Good Shepherd Church on Thursday, January 25th, 2024 at 2:00 pm. Masks recommended. Interment will follow at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, if you wish, donations may be made to Good Shepherd Parish Building Fund, 1125 Saskatchewan Ave East, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 3Y8, Sunset Palliative Care Inc, Box 92, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3B2, Lions Prairie Manor Foundation Inc, 24 - 9th Street NE, Portage la Prairie, MB, R1N 3V4, or a charity of one’s choice.

A tree will be planted and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. http://www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com