O’Grady, Helen Alexiades
(Sept. 19, 1936 – April 28, 2019)
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Helen (Alexiades) O’Grady on April 28, 2019. Born in Montreal in 1936, Helen was the second daughter of Costa and Christina Alexiades. The loving wife of Jim O’Grady, QC and mother of Jamey O’Grady, Helen was a professional social worker in Ottawa. Whether in private practice or in government service, Helen helped many people go on to live happy, successful lives. Friends, family, strangers or the wife of a Prime Minister, Helen O’Grady helped anyone who asked.
Before contracting Rheumatoid Arthritis in her 20’s, Helen was a very accomplished young woman. She served as Head Girl at Lisgar Collegiate before going on to study Psychology at Queen’s University and Social Work at U of T. She was also an athlete, dancer and an accomplished actress. In 1953, she starred in a Hollywood movie called Herdman’s Bridge with legendary actor Lloyd Bridges.
Despite her illness, which she fought gallantly against every day, Helen rarely missed any of her husband’s and son’s hockey games—even making the long journey to Cape Breton for one of Jamey’s playoff games in North Sydney, NS—and travelling with Jim to tournaments in Northern Ontario and Quebec as well as Florida, Nashville, and Buffalo for the US Senior Olympics.
Helen was a passionate sports fan and devoted follower of the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Expos. She enjoyed attending concerts, plays and evenings of classical music at the National Arts Centre.
Helen was a beautiful woman with a warm heart and a selfless love of others. She endured countless surgeries and hospitalizations with courage, stoicism and a profound desire for life. She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her.
Helen O’Grady is survived by her son James (Jamey), daughter-in-law Sookja Cha, grandsons Keifer and James Chang, and sisters Maria Karkazis and Ariadne Gribble.
Viewings will take place at the garden Chapel of Tubman’s Funeral Home 3440 Richmond Richmond Rd. Nepean between 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm, Monday, May 6th. The funeral and reception will take place Tuesday, May 7th, at 11 am at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church on Prince of Wales Drive. Everyone is welcome.
Donations can be made in Helen’s name to the Rheumatoid Arthritis Association of Canada. Condolences, tributes and donations may be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com