Helena's Story

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Helena Theresa Winters was born May 22, 1923 to Gottlieb and Freida Schoenhals Helfenbein in Darrouzett, Texas. She was raised on a farm with her five siblings during the dust bowl and depression era. As a child, she was accustomed to herding cattle bareback, milking cows and many other farm chores. Her family were active members of the German St. John Congregational Church in Darrouzett.
While attending a convention at the Zion Congregation Church in Weatherford, Okla. she met her soon-to-be husband, Marvin Winters. They were married on June 13, 1942.
Soon after the wedding Marvin was called to service in World War II, where he became a pilot instructor at several bases in Oklahoma. Helena stayed in Darrouzett where she gave birth to their first child, Carlton on May 15, 1943.
After being discharged from the military in 1945, they moved to Mountain View, Okla. where they opened White's Auto Parts Store. After several years, they expanded and began offering hardware, appliances and furniture. In the late 1950s, they renamed the store to Winter's Home and Auto opening a second store in Hobart. In 1946, they had their first daughter, Charlotte and their second, Carol in 1947.
As prominent members of the United Methodist Church in Mountain View, Marvin, as one of the lay leaders, helped to design the new church building, which was constructed in 1960.
In 1974, they sold their store and purchased a ranch and began farming. Helena loved the change and was said to have named all the cattle.
After finding out about Marvin's illness, they chose to retire from ranching and travel in their motorhome for several years prior to this death in 1990.
In 1992, Helena moved to Edmond, Okla. where she was active in the Edmond Senior Center. She enjoyed gardening and was referred to by many as "The Flower Lady".
Helena enjoyed cooking and was extremely proud of her German heritage and the dishes she grew up cooking.
Helena is survived by her children Carlton Winters of Tulsa, Charlotte Corken and her husband Charles of Edmond, and Carol Reese and her husband Jim of Hillsboro, Ore. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. She also has one surviving brother, Roy Helfenbein. She was preceded in death by her husband Marvin, her sister Mary Sims, her brothers Arthur, George and Clarence.
Visitation will be
5 to 7 p.m. Friday July 7, 2017 at Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond. Private graveside services will be at the Mountain View Cemetery.
A reception will be 11:30 a.m. at Mountain View United Methodist Church prior to the Celebration of Life memorial service at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Published on July 3, 2017
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