May 29, 1920 - September 4, 2018
On September 4, 2018 our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Ethel Helms, left to join her husband, Willis, in heaven. She was born May 29, 1920 at Paris, Idaho to James Romero and Juanita Denio and raised in Southern Idaho (mostly outdoors and on the back of a horse). She graduated from Soda Springs High school in 1938, then attended the National Youth Administration Vocational School in Weiser, Idaho. At Weiser she met the love of her life, Willis Helms. They were married May 21, 1941 in Seattle where their first child was born. They moved back to southern Idaho with the baby after World War II broke out knowing that he would be called to duty in the military. Ethel spent the time Willis was gone caring for her daughter, writing stories and poetry. After the war Ethel and Willis farmed in Idaho and four more children were born. They moved to Soap Lake in December of 1952 where they had two more children. Willis worked for Bing Ramm at Sun City Gas and Oil Co. the Phillips 66 distributor in Soap Lake (later Inland Oil Co) and Ethel cared for the children. Ethel participated in many community, church and school activities. She worked for many years as one of the election judges at her precinct. She was very active in the genealogy programs at church and taught a series of classes on the subject and at the local library. She spent many hours collecting and sharing family history and was a member of the Grant County Genealogical Society . Ethel spent time as chairwoman of the Soap Lake PTA, a long time Campfire Girls leader and many hours driving her children to and from a host of school activities (sports, drill team, band). When Willis retired, Ethel traveled with him all over the United States, through Canada and up to Alaska. They made special friends wherever they went. They spent most of the winter in Congress, Arizona. Congress became a home base for their travels throughout the desert southwest. Ethel loved to pan for gold and continued her writing and handwork (sewing, crocheting, plastic mesh yarn projects) throughout the winters. When Willis became ill, Ethel cared for him at home until he passed away on September 22, 1994. Ethel moved to McKay Healthcare in 2010 where she received excellent care for the last eight years of her life. She was preceded in death by her mother, father, two sisters and a brother. She is survived by her seven children, Betty Schlicting (Doug), Phillip Helms (Kathy), Elaine Pauly (John), Norma Jean McLeod (Gary), Mike Helms (Kathy), David Helms (Lugene), Kathleen Ballinger (Ron), 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. She loved to have the great grandkids call her “GG “. Services will take place at 10:00 am September 8, 2018 at the LDS Stake Center Church, Ephrata, WA. Viewing will take place at 9:00 am before the service. All are welcome to attend.
On September 4, 2018 our beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Ethel Helms, left to join her husband, Willis, in heaven. She was born May 29, 1920 at Paris, Idaho to James Romero and Juanita Denio and raised in Southern Idaho... View Obituary & Service Information
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