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Obituary for Helen Bernice Curtis
Helen Bernice Hallowell Curtis passed away Saturday, December 30, at the age of 92. Helen was born April 29, 1925, in Oakland, IL, daughter of Ralph Hallowell and Edna Ann (Hackett) Hallowell. She married Emmert Curtis in 1945, divorced 1977. She was preceded into heaven by Emmert, her brother Jesse Howard Hallowell (wife Betty) of Longmont, CO, and her two sons, John Emmert Curtis, in 1965 at the age of 13, and Stephen Lyle Curtis, in 2000 at the age of 53.
Surviving Helen are her daughter, Carol Ann Curtis Cox, and son-in-law, Danny, of Decatur, a multitude of loving grandchildren and great grandchildren, all of whom knew her as Gangee, and several nieces and nephews. Grandchildren include: Elizabeth Ann Cox Flanders (husband Josh) of Springfield, Joshua Thomas Cox (wife Dawn) of Newton, IA, John Wesley Meredith-Cox (wife Kate) of Peoria, Jeremiah Christopher Cox (wife Kortny) of Mahomet, Jordan Paul Cox (wife Alena) of Chicago, Cynthia Ann Curtis (husband Jim) of TN, Stephen Matthew Curtis (wife Kimberly) of Lake Villa, Laura Jane Curtis (husband Carl) of Silver Lake, WI. Great grandchildren are: Free Christian Johnson, Gabriel Christian Johnson, River Christian Johnson of Springfield; Gavin Donnelly Cox of Jacksonville and Mabel Grace Gettler Cox of Newtown, IA; Olivia Ann Cox, Zerihun David Cox of Mahomet; Marlena Ann Meredith-Cox, Penelope Jane Meredith-Cox, Theodore Curtis Meredith-Cox of Peoria; Luna Sophia Cox, Jason Philip Cox; Jessica Kaitlyn Setlik, Justyn Lyle Setlik of TN; Emily Raven Dipper, Abigail Rose Dipper of Silverlake, WI.
Helen graduated from Oakland High School in 1943. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Oakland since March 18, 1937, where she served as a Sunday school teacher. She was a member of the Oakland United Methodist Church since December 10, 1967, where she was the treasurer and organist for 33 years. She worked at the Oakland National Bank for more than 35 years as a bookkeeper, teller, and assistant cashier. She was an honorary member of The Ladies Mutual Improvement Club.
She lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Decatur for 16 years prior to moving to McKinley Court in September of 2016. Helen enjoyed gardening, was an avid reader, and loved playing and listening to music. She was the first in three generations of worship leaders. She led from the organ bench for 33 years, daughter Carol led contemporary worship for 15 years and grandson Jeremiah has been a worship arts director for 14 years. She was also a master cookie baker, bringing dozens of everyone’s favorites whenever she visited.
Helen’s heart was with her family. Her patience, her strength and her steadfast obedience to God were beacons of faith to all who knew her.
A visitation will be held at 10:00 on Wednesday, January 3, at Oakland United Methodist Church, with a funeral following at 11:00. Reverend Dr. David Wence and Reverends Chuck Trent and Danny Cox officiating. Burial will be at the Oakland cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Oakland United Methodist Church, Oakland Memorial Library or Grace United Methodist Church in Decatur.