Helen Margaret Crites
Helen Margaret Crites, 95, of Williamsville, MO, transitioned to her eternal home on February 24, 2023, at her residence. She was the first of six children born to James and Lois Duckett on October 20, 1927. Helen grew up on the family farm near Williamsville and graduated valedictorian of her high school in 1946. She married Clifford Crites in May of 1946. They were the parents of two children, Sandra and Alan. Besides her parents, the departed are son: Alan; husband: Clifford; sister: Kathryn. Surviving are daughter, Sandy, son-in-law: John Joy of Williamsville; grandsons: Justin and wife Amanda of Memphis, TN, Spencer and wife Jess of Knoxville, TN; great-grandchildren: John Charles, Sophie Jane, Sadie Louise also of TN; siblings: John, Paul, Douglas and Mary.
Helen was a lifelong resident of Williamsville. Her professional career included receptionist/secretary for Wayne County Health Center. Later she served twenty years as recorder for the Wayne County Circuit Court. After retirement, she assisted friends, Jim and Frances with Ruegg Funeral Home in Williamsville. Her greatest accomplishments and pleasure came from being a homemaker, and service to her church and community. She faithfully attended the Williamsville United Methodist Church for ninety-five years. She served in many capacities at the church and played the piano there three weeks before her passing. Her Christian faith guided her life.
Her service to the community began as a 4-H leader, later an active Lions Club member, delivering meals with her husband to the homebound for twenty-seven years and volunteering at the Wayne County Nutrition Center. Helen served on boards throughout the county. In 1976, she and Lillian Becker were the first women elected to the R-2 school board. Some of her acknowledgments and awards included recognition by Aging Matter for her longevity and service to senior citizens, recipient of the public service award by Ozark Foothills Region Planning Commission for her contribution to the improvement of quality of life in the Ozark Foothills Region of Wayne County and the City of Williamsville. She was also recognized by Modern Woodmen as a Hometown Hero. In 2021, she was honored by the Wayne County Historical Society in the first class of the Hall of Honor. She served the City of Williamsville as treasurer for fifty-six years. She completed her work as treasurer for the city on February 14, 2023.
Helen had a never-ending compassion for being a friend to those in need, whatever that need might be. Through it all she remained humble and considered herself to be just an ordinary person.
Her physical health began declining with mobility issues two years ago. Yet she continued to be active in her church and community. Helen remained in her home with the dedicated daily assistance of Sharon and Danny Sanders. End of life came suddenly. She was able to stay in her home which she loved and resided in for seventy-three years with the help of hospice and private care givers, Evelyn Hackman, Charlotte Luke, and Gloria Thompson. The family extends much gratitude to the afore mentioned for their compassionate care.
Services for Helen Crites were held Saturday, March 4, 2023, at the Williamsville United Methodist Church at 1:00 P.M. Visitation preceded the service beginning at 10:00 A.M. Officiant was Justin Joy; Pianists: Linnette Nelson and Paula Minton; Bryan Kirkman served as song leader and provided a special song; Pastor Nelma Williams gave Words of Grace; special music was provided by the First Assembly Praise Team; Rami Atchison provided responsive reading; Scripture reading was by Nancy Crites McLain; reflections were provided by Angie Smith; a heartfelt eulogy was given by John Duckett; candle lighting and bell ringing was provided by Izzy Atchison and Bailey Eads. Burial followed at Chapel Hill Cemetery. Song leader was Amanda Joy. Marty Kohler, Mark McLain, Dale Day, Spencer Joy, Justin Joy, and John Joy served as pallbearers.
For those who wish, memorial contributions can be made to the Williamsville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 218, Williamsville, MO 63967. Online condolences can be made at www.rueggfuneralhomes.com.