Born 7-6-1922 -- Died 7-19-2005
Helen Isabel Martin Jenkins was born July 6, 1922, in Richfield, Kan., and died on July 19, 2005 at her home in Alvin, Texas.
Helen's childhood years were spent in Boise City, Oklahoma during the Great Depression where she experienced the Oklahoma dust bowl. The dust endangered people's lives and that of livestock, and was so thick and strong that it blew into homes, even through closed windows, to the point that their family's clock quit ticking.
In May 1935 she and her family moved to the Missouri Ozarks to a farm in Olean, Mo.
After the dust bowl of Oklahoma, the Ozarks appeared to them as the most beautiful place on earth with its green trees and plants.
Every time she told the story she said that driving into Missouri was as "driving into heaven."
In 1942 she took the required course to get a job with North America Aviation in Kansas City, Kan., where she worked bucking rivets and welding on World War II bomber aircraft. When she spoke of this work, she referred to it as "the bomber plant." Arthritis in her knees from kneeling on the concrete floors at the bomber plant caused her to leave this job, whereupon she worked for Harding Brother and Williams Cafeteria which catered food at the bomber plant, at a mushroom canning factory and then for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company as a telephone operator.
In 1946 she moved to Little Rock, Ark., and on April 5, 1946 married her husband. They moved to Fayetteville, Ark., and then to Mtn. View, Mo., and finally settled in Thayer, where their seven children all attended and graduated from the Thayer Public Schools. She was a member of the United Methodist Church of Mammoth Spring, Ark. and was active in its women's missionary society and sang in the choir. She loved and grew flowers at every home in which the family lived. Her husband passed away in December 1974. In the 80s she sang with the Thayer-Mammoth Community Choir directed by the late Claudia Carr. In 1989 she moved to Brazoria, Texas, then in 1996 to Alvin, Texas where she lived until her death.
She was a loving, gentle, sweet spirited woman who spent her life nurturing others. She will be greatly missed.
Survivors include her sister, Tina Bess Enloe of Indepen-dence, Mo., her children -- daughter Amanda Smith and husband, Bob of Alvin, Texas, daughter Corinne Jenkins of Alvin, Texas, son Clay Jenkins and wife, Susie of Brazoria, Texas; daughter Lona Jenkins of Houston, Texas, daughter Bett Jeffers and husband, Roderick of Jones Creek, Texas, daughter Rebecca Dempsey and husband, Mike of Alabaster, Ala., son Chester Jenkins and wife, Kay of Brazoria, Texas, grandchildren -- Patricia Smith Fillips, Robert Smith, Chelsea Jenkins, Tiffany Jenkins, Ashley Dempsey, Lauren Dempsey, Michael Dempsey, Erin Dempsey, Patrick Dempsey, William Jenkins III, and Bethany Jenkins; nine great-grandchildren, four step grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service was held July 23 at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery, located outside the Pleasant Grove Methodist Church in Teresita, Mo., with arrangements by Duncan Funeral Home.