Helen Elaine Smith, 103, of Salina, Kansas, passed away Friday, September 24th, 2021.
Helen was born in Richter, Kansas on July 16, 1918, a daughter of the late Ethelyn (Staadt) and Thomas Harrison Fleming.
Graduating from Pomona High School in 1937 and then Kansas State University in 1941 with a teaching degree in Home Economics, she taught at Durham High School in Durham, Kansas and later at Garfield High School in Garfield, Kansas.
Helen worked at the Sunflower Ammunition Plant in DeSoto, Kansas as a (W.O.W.) Woman’s Ordnance Worker, in the summer during World War II.
On December 23, 1945, she married Gilman “Buzzy” Smith of Durham, Kansas. Together they raised four children and worked their farm in the Holland area of Dickinson, County.
Being raised in a Christian family, she followed those teachings through her life, and was a multi- faceted member of Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church.
Helen was a 4H Sewing leader for Holland Sunflower 4H Club and took an active interest in assisting her children with their own various 4H projects.
She was a caring and compassionate community member who enjoyed helping others and being actively involved in community events where she could give back to the community that she felt very fortunate to have belonged to.
Helen was artistic and talented, she played the piano, made flower arrangements, did woodwork, refinished furniture, canned pickled beets and other various vegetables, made applesauce, sewed clothing, baked the best Lemon Meringue Pie and Angel Food Cake ever. She gardened, baked bread, quilted, cross stitched, made jewelry, wrote poetry and even won a spelling contest in her 90’s.
She was very interested in learning her genealogy and family history. She loved birds, nature, going to garage sales, antiquing, reading and Halloween, when she would plan her costumes a year in advance.
Helen and Buzzy traveled to Hawaii, Arizona, Indiana, Alabama, New Mexico, Washington State, Washington, D.C. and Florida to visit their children and grandchildren.
Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were her pride and joy, and she would often make special time with them to decorate Christmas cookies, dye Easter eggs, put a puzzle together, play a board game or just listen to them play the piano.
Helen had a zest and a love for life and others and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Helen is survived by three daughters, Cynthia Warren, of Troutman, North Carolina, Connie Corcoran (Lynn), of Lincoln, Nebraska, Cathy Ahlstedt, of Lindsborg, Kansas; grandchildren Vaughn Warren of Troutman, North Carolina, Kara (Jon) Perricone of San Diego, California, Travis Basgall (Melissa) of Salina, Kansas, Scott Peavler (Anette) of Ft Lauderdale, Florida; Great Grandchildren Jaxon Perricone and Brooklyn Basgall.
Helen is also survived by 6 bonus grandchildren ,20 bonus great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and extended family.
She was preceded in death by a son Robert Smith; two sons- in - law, Robert Ahlstedt and Barry Warren; two brothers Don Fleming, Bruce Fleming; two sisters -in -law Carol Fleming and Ruth Fleming.
Memorial Service will be held 10:30 AM on Tuesday, September 28th at Sunrise Presbyterian Church in Salina, Kansas with Rev. Martha Murchison officiating.
In Lieu of Flowers the family requests that Memorial contributions be made to Dickinson County Historical Society; Interim Hospice or DVAC of Salina in care of Carlson- Geisendorf Funeral Home, 500 S. Ohio St. Salina, Kansas.
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