Helen McCreary, 87, of Haven, , formerly of Wellington, passed away Sunday, May 14, in Haven, Kansas.
Graveside Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, May 18th at the Prairie Lawn Cemetery in Wellington, Kansas. Visitation will be held Thursday, May 17th from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Shelley Family Funeral Home of Wellington. A memorial has been established with Live Free Ministry’s. Contributions can be left with the funeral home.
Helen Francis McCreary was born in Joplin, Missouri on June 15, 1930 to Matthew and Beulah Scheurich. From an early age, family was very important to Helen. On her mom’s side, there were many family members in the Joplin area who would come together to support one another.
Helen grew up during a difficult time. She lived through the depression and WW II. She lost her father to kidney disease while still in high school. He mom struggled with the difficulties of being a single mom, working as a cook at the Women’s Club
During Helen’s high school years, she met Virgil McCreary, who resumed high school after returning from WWII. The two were married on June 27, 1948. Virgil first worked a job delivering magazines and then got on with Safeway. He was transferred from town to town to help ailing stores, which meant that the family saw frequent moves. However, because they were in the general vicinity, all four children were born in Joplin.
Faith was an important part of Helen’s life. She and Virgil often were among the pioneer families building a church in the places they lived. Helen played the piano in both the Junction City and Salina churches. They developed deep friendships in the churches over the years, many of which stayed in touch despite the many moves.
In Wellington, Virgil and Helen played both leadership and support roles through many years at Hillside Baptist Church. They were members of the choir and family often would join them for cantatas or regular church services. They had a heart to see their children walking with God.
Helen worked at Fruhauf Band Uniforms in Salina, which started a trend in her life. She worked other jobs, that all seemed to be clothing related. After the grandchildren came along, she often would make matching outfits for them and always kept supplies of clothes for them at her house, “just in case” they were needed. Many of the outfits made it home with the children.
Most years, the family vacationed by camping. In the younger years, that was often a trip to Shores Lake in Arkansas. When the grandchildren came along, the camping trips became a multi-family affair. Helen was often referred to as “Sarge”, especially on the camping trips, because she was the ultimate organizer. She was up to the task of having everything ready to go for family gatherings, camping trips, and even church events. One of the highlights for Helen was the camping trip where she and Virgil took all 10 grandchildren camping. She treasured that time with them and wanted to build some great memories with them.
Surviving are daughters: Stephanie Thalmann and husband Lynn of Haven, Lynette Riley and husband Randy of St. Joseph, MO, Kelly Case and husband David of McPherson, and son Stephen McCreary of Wellington, 10 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death are her parents, her brother, and her husband Virgil.
Helen will be remembered for her heart for her family. At times, that meant a tendency to worry over every little detail. But she had a heart to pray and to provide in any way she could. In a way, her struggle with Alzheimers pushed her into a place of rest from her struggles for her final seven years at the Haven House. Her desire to help others will be missed!