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Helen Mary Kelley Jackson

Birth
Death 25 Jun 2012 (aged 90)
Burial Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana, USA
Memorial ID 92769244 · View Source
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LEWISTOWN - Helen Mary Kelley Jackson, 90, died of natural causes Monday, June 25, at Central Montana Medical Center in Lewistown.

A vigil is 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Leo's Catholic Church. Mass of Christian burial is 11 a.m. Friday at St. Leo's, with Rite of Committal to follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery. Creel Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Helen was born Sept. 25, 1921, in DeSmet, S.D., to La Verda and Lawrence Kelley. She spent her early years on the family farm in DeSmet until the dirty thirties drove the family from the dusty plains of South Dakota to the lush valley of Twin Falls, Idaho, then eventually to Great Falls. After her sophomore year in high school, Helen developed a severe case of wanderlust and bought a ticket to San Francisco and set off to see the world. She worked at various jobs, the first of which was servicing wax cylinder dictaphones. During the Lend Lease just prior to World War II, she worked at Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, chauffeuring American and foreign dignitaries. In 1953, Helen married James Jackson in DeSmet. They ranched on the divide east of Lewistown for most of their marriage, spending a few years in Tempe, Ariz., along the way, trying to find a climate more hospitable than Montana winters. After their kids were raised, Jim and Helen turned the reins of the ranch over to their son and daughter-in law, Mel and Becky, and retired to Tucson, Ariz. In 2003, Helen returned to Lewistown and resided at Eagles Manor before moving to New Horizons Assisted Living in 2010.

Helen, a devoted Catholic, was a member of St. Leo's Catholic Church, the Divide Homemaker's Extension Club and Cheadle Community Club and enjoyed and excelled at any card game, especially bridge, pinochle and poker. Once her children were off and running on their own, the travel bug bit again and through the Friendship Forces exchange program, Helen was able to visit such faraway places as South Korea and West Germany. She visited her sister Joyce in Australia, toured Europe with Janiece and explored her ancestral roots in Ireland with Mel and Becky. Helen especially loved and appreciated visits with friends and family and was always game for a party, especially those that required dressing up in costume!

Helen is survived by her sister, Pat (Bob) Starkweather; brother Dennis (Joan) Kelley; sons Larry and Mel (Becky); daughters Patricia Jackson and Janiece Mary Jackson Poole; the childrens' father Jim; grandchildren Katrina Jackson and Jamie, Katie and Robbie Jackson and Michelle and Michael Poole; sisters-in-law Margaret and Katherine Seilstad; as well as several nieces and nephews who were very fond of their poker-playing Aunt Helen.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; sister Joyce Kelley and brother Douglas Kelley.

Memorials are suggested to the Central Montana Foundation Emergency Room Fund, St. Leo's Catholic Church or the charity of your choice.

Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 27, 2012


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  • Created by: Judyvv
  • Added: 29 Jun 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 92769244
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Helen Mary Kelley Jackson (25 Sep 1921–25 Jun 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 92769244, citing Calvary Cemetery, Lewistown, Fergus County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Judyvv (contributor 46986773) .