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127 Church Street
P.O. Box 370
Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
Phone: 1-613-256-3313
Fax: 1-613-256-6300
Helen Pragnell

Helen Scott Pragnell (Driver)

Sunday, February 7th, 1926 - Saturday, April 11th, 2020
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Pragnell, Helen Scott
(February 7, 1926-April 11, 2020)

At 94 years of age, Helen Scott Pragnell (nee Driver) passed peacefully of natural causes at Fairview Manor in Almonte on Saturday April 11, 2020, with her eldest son at her bedside. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and was the only child of the late Kate and Harold Driver. Helen was predeceased by her husband and partner, Herbert Francis Pragnell. Loving and proud mother of Ian (Nancy), Scott (Eileen), David (Heather) and Richard (Charlotte). Beloved Nana to seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by the family and Donata, her long-time caregiver and friend. Helen graduated from the Montreal General Hospital of Nursing in 1947 and started work with the Victorian Order of Nurses. In 1949 she graduated from McGill University with a post graduate degree in Public Health. It was during this time that Helen met Herb who had just graduated from the McGill Faculty of Engineering.
The family moved in 1959 to Almonte because Helen believed that the “friendly” town would be a good place to raise four young rambunctious boys. She was right, as usual. Helen resumed her nursing career in 1967 with the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark County District Health Unit, retiring in 1985. Her favorite part of the job was teaching the prenatal classes and driving around the District bouncing newborn babies on her knee. Helen was actively involved with the Almonte United Church and held various positions and worked tirelessly on numerous church committees. She also volunteered with the Friends of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum and other community projects.
Several years ago, Helen was diagnosed with dementia. With her usual calm demeanour, she fought back against the disease for as long as she could at home until she moved into Fairview Manor. She will be remembered as a caring and compassionate mother, a trail blazer, the captain of the Pragnell family and will be missed by all who knew her. Lastly, she was an elegant woman who stuck to her principles and loved her family dearly.
Special thanks for the great care and support provided by all of Helen’s home caregivers and the Fairview Manor staff. Given the current public health concerns over COVID-19 a Celebration of Life for Helen will be held later. Being a Public Health Nurse Helen would understand and she would also remind you to wash your hands. There will be a private family spring interment at the Auld Kirk.
If desired, donations in memory of Helen can be made to Fairview Manor or the Alzheimer’s Society of Lanark County.
Don’t’ know where, don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day

Funeral Arrangements Entrusted Into The Care Of
C.R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel Inc.
(127 Church St., Almonte, ON., 613-256-3313)
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Auld Kirk Cemetery
    1923 Ramsay Concession 8 and Wolfgrove Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email



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Barbara Provost

Posted at 10:27am
Dear Ian, Nancy and family,
So sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. Our sincere condolences.
Barbara and Peter Provost

Margaret Lucas

Posted at 09:50pm
Richard, Charlotte and Family. Sorry to read about your moms passing. She was a nice lady. A memory that I have of her that stands out was from 1985 when she attended a baby shower at my home. She was surprised when I served a salad and did not have salad tongs. The next day she arrived back at my place with salad tong she for me. I use them still and smile when I think of her. Margaret Lucas(Burns)

Cecilia & Terry Russell

Posted at 09:24pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Pragnell family at this difficult time. May the passing of time and your fond memories of Helen help with your grief.

Julie Townsend

Posted at 12:44pm
My deepest condolences to the Pragnell family for your loss, esp Ian, David, Scott and Richard. I was a part of the Pragnell family for 9 years from 1979 to 1988. During that time, Helen was like a second mother to me. She had a significant impact on my life and I have many fond memories of our years together. I still have a full length Scott Tartan kilt that she gave me. She made me promise never to shorten it! Helen was organized, efficient, caring and charismatic. She had a quick wit and was dedicated to her family. I'm sure she will be dearly missed by those who knew her!

Allan Lowry

Posted at 02:17pm
My sympathies to the entire Pragnell family. I went to ADHS from grade 9-12 with Ian. After my wife and I married and started having children we met your mother through the health unit. She always seemed so gracious. When our family started going to Almonte United Church we had many good times with your parents. May your memories help to fill the vacancy left in your hearts.
Allan and Donna Lowry

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