Helen Irwin (nee Andronik)

November 25, 1930 – February 21, 2020
Mom was born on her parent’s farm in Calder Saskatchewan in 1930. She was the second youngest of 10 children, having two sisters and seven brothers. Times were hard in the hungry thirties and she went to live with her aunt and uncle in Burnaby at age five. Her parents and siblings moved to a farm in Cloverdale in 1938 and she was able to visit them quite often.
She met first husband, Peter William Bryski, whom she married at age 21. They had a daughter and then four sons after settling in Nanaimo. Sadly, the marriage didn’t last and they divorced a few years later. She met second husband, Cecil Irwin, whom she married in 1970. She worked with Rockgas Propane Ltd., the Vancouver Island Gas Company and then several years with ICG Propane. She had many friends who along with her co-workers always held her in high esteem.
Her and Cec had a happy marriage filled with adventure. For a time, they lived aboard their 120-foot motor vessel “Huntress”, sailing her to Fiji and back. Shortly thereafter they moved to Hawaii where they remained for several months. Upon their return to Nanaimo they started a vinyl siding business “Irwin Industries”, which soon thrived and was well known in Nanaimo and Victoria. Mom patiently held down the fort in Nanaimo in the early eighties when Cec sailed their 67 foot ketch “Fury IV” to and around French Polynesia for several months with their charter business. After retirement they spent several winters in the southern U.S. in their 40 foot bus which they had converted to a live aboard R.V. Mom was tremendously creative; knitting and crocheting superbly, and producing many amazing wood crafts. She spent her last few years in assisted living at Kiwanis village in Nanaimo where she met many new friends.
Mom was pre-deceased by her parents David and Irene, half-sister Annie, sister Mary, half-brothers Bill and John, brothers Stan and Pete, both killed in action during W.W. 2, John, Mike, Martin and Dick. Also pre-deceased by ex-husband Peter. Mom was devastated by the loss of her youngest son Gordy in 1996 when the tugboat he operated for a helicopter logging company sank and again in 2006 with the death of husband Cec.
Left to mourn are daughter Heather Bell of Calgary, sons Ken Bryski (Cheryl), Peter Bryski (Linda) of Nanaimo, and Rick Bryski (Leanne) of Ladysmith. Also her sister Francis (George) Funk of Salmon Arm, and step-sister Joy (Bohdan) in Maple Ridge.
She will be deeply missed by grandsons Jordan Bryski (Tabitha with soon-to-be great-grandchild), Sonny Bryski (Jenn) and Andrew Shields (Jackie), 3 great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces, nephews many and friends.
There will be no funeral at Mom’s request.


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