Helen P. (Read) Canavan, formerly of Niagara Falls, NY, passed away on Sunday, January 5, 2014, in The William B. Rice Eventide Home, Quincy, MA. Born on December 31, 1922, in Niagara Falls, NY, the daughter of the late Charles and Loretto (McCall) Read.
She attended St. Mary's Grammar School and graduated from Loretto Academy, Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1940 after which she attended the Broughton Business School and graduated one year later. She then matriculated at the University of Toronto from which she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1945.
She joined Moore Business Forms, Inc. in September of 1945 as a secretary in the Sales Training and Personnel Department. She held several positions with Moore and at the time of her retirement in December of 1987, was Personnel Manager at the Administrative Headquarters in Niagara Falls. Mrs. Canavan was an active member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (formerly the Professional Secretaries International) and held the offices of Recording Secretary, Vice President and President of the Niagara Falls Chapter. In 1955, she attained the Certified Professional Secretary rating.
She served on the NCCC Advisory Board for Executive Secretarial Science for seven years. In 1958, she was named Chapter Secretary of the Year and in 1976 was chosen New York State Outstanding Member of the Year. Mrs. Canavan was an active member of St. Mary of the Cataract Church and served as Secretary of its Parish Council for many years. She was also a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and for a number of years an auditor for St. Mary's Catholic Charities Campaign. In 1972, she received the Lay Award of St. Joseph from Bishop James McNulty for service to the church and community.
She was a Past President of the International Loretto Alumnae Association and a Past President of the St. Francis Guild of Mt. St. Mary's Hospital. She was also a former member of the Parkway Condominium Board of Managers and a founding member of the Moore Organization of Retired Employees. Mrs. Canavan took pleasure in traveling both abroad, in Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the U.S. states. She also enjoyed playing bridge.
She was the wife of the late James E. Canavan, who died in June 2003; they were married in 1995, in St. Mary's Church. Together they enjoyed Buffalo Philharmonic Concerts, Artpark productions and the Shaw Theater in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
Mrs. Canavan is survived by four step-children, Dr. J. William (Maureen) Canavan of Springville, NY, Matthew J. (Rita) Canavan of Victor, NY, Susan M. Canavan and Mary Catherine (Gerald) Weeks, both of Grand Island; six step-grandchildren, James W., Sean J., Theresa and Clare Canavan, Mary Margaret (Kenneth) Wilkosz and Elizabeth (James) Basl; one brother, Dr. John Charles (Patricia) Read of Williston, VT; and one sister, Sheila (late James) McIntyre of Quincy, MA. She also leaves many nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. Mrs. Canavan was predeceased by two sisters, Anne (late Frederick) Symmes and Elizabeth (late Francis) Eleey.
The family will be present on Friday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM at the RHONEY FUNERAL HOME, 1124 Ontario Avenue, Niagara Falls, NY, where funeral services will be held on Saturday at 9:30 AM, followed by a by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM at St. Mary's Church, 259 Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, NY, with the Rev. Jacek P. Mazur officiating. Memorials may be made in her name to St. Mary's Church. Interment will be in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Lewiston, NY.
Visit www.rhoneyfuneralhome.com for guest register.