Shared by Mark Ellis on June 23, 2016


The first time I met Helene she drove up to Columbia from Waynesville with Delbert so he could fix Patty's car.  I was there as a helper.  As Del and I changed a tire and started working on a radiator, Helene gathered wild flowers from the yard of Patty's apartment. She also located the hole in Patty's old tire and marked it with her lipstick so it could be found later by a mechanic. Del winked at me and laughed.

When we finished, they took us out to dinner. It was Helen who did most of the laughing.  And what a carefree and melodious laugh it was!  I am not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Helene brought at least one other change of clothing for that visit.  They were only up for a couple hours, but there were always occasions to get dressed up for Helene… A drive. Dinner. Errands. Going or being out in general. I don't recall that any of her outfits were particularly less formal than any others.  She was always dressed to the nines!

When dinner was over and they headed back home, Helene and Delbert invited me to accompany Patty down for a visit some time.  And we did visit that summer and often afterwards.  The Yocum residence was always a place of relaxation and hospitality for us, and it was in many ways an extension of Helene.  It was inviting and fun and lively.  It was always ready to entertain filled with laughter, music, and food.  

Sure, Helene and Delbert were a team that made their house and life such a fun energy to be around. But it was Helene who brought and inspired the magic, and no one knew that more or appreciated it more than Del.  He protected, assisted, and was inspired by her in every way.

The amazing thing about Helene is not only was the she the energy, the art, and the entertainment to her house, family, and friends, but she was also one of the most industrious and hardest working individuals I have ever met.  She cleaned, she baked, she shopped, she cooked, she ran a business, she planned trips, she volunteered, she hosted - she was, quite simply, an amazing person who accomplished amazing things and was still a fun, kind and warm individual to everyone  and every animal she met.

She will, indeed, be very missed but also forever loved in our hearts.  

-Mark Ellis

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