SOUTH ROYALTON — A funeral service for Helen G. Billings, 96, who passed away surrounded by her family on March 21 at the Menig Extended Care Facility at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph was held March 27 at the Sharon Congregational Church. Rev. Duane Brown officiated. The burial will be later this spring in the Branch View Cemetery in South Royalton.
She was born Jan. 22, 1917 in Charlestown, N.H., the fourth daughter of nine siblings to Peter M. and Regina (Sylvester) Benware.
She attended school in the Charlestown area. After completing grade school, she went to reside with her sister, Evalina, her husband, Lloyde Martin and their son, Richard with the intention of attending South Royalton High School. When her sister, Evalina became ill with tuberculosis, Helen helped her brother-in-law by caring for her nephew.
During this time she met a local young man, Richard Billings, to whom she was married on Oct. 5, 1935. A daughter, Pauline was born to this union. All Helen’s married life was spent on Pleasant Street in South Royalton, except for one year when “Rich” worked for Mobil in Montpelier. She worked as a clerk in the First National Grocery Store in South Royalton for several years. When her husband started his own home heating oil business, called R.F. Billings, she did the office work.
Helen was an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star. First, belonging to Rising Sun Chapter in South Royalton and then to Forest-Unity #82 in Sharon. She held several offices, the longest of which was secretary for the Rising Sun Chapter. She was a life member o the O.E.S. at the time of her death. She was also active in the Better Homes Club that was associated with the Vermont Extension Service. She held several offices in this club, which included being president for several years.
She liked to cook, bake and volunteer for many area organizations. She especially enjoyed preparing food and helping in the “Cook Tent” at the annual Cascadnac Fish and Game Club Shoot at Crawford’s field in South Royalton.
She retired when she and her husband sold the oil business to their daughter, Pauline, and her husband, Fay Morrill.
After retirement, the focal point of her life was a “Camp” at the end of the White Brook Road in Sharon, with its beautiful view of Killington and Pico Mountains. Family and friends were always welcome to just “drop in” or come for planned events such as reunion classes, baseball teams, club members, kindergarten graduations, bird watchers, game feeds, birthdays, visitors at the sugar house, weddings (five and another to be this September,) anniversaries, snowmobilers, horseback rides, travel campers (for overnight or weekend,) the “fifty-cent of two-dollar” tours in a jeep or a friendly game of cribbage. Helen enjoyed them all.
Her hobbies included cooking, baking (especially pies and raised figure eight doughnuts,) all kinds of crafts, sewing, knitting, crocheting, singing “the good old songs,” family trips and doing for others. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family.
When her health began to fail, she went to reside with her daughter and son-in-law in Sharon. Helen remained there until November 6, 2006 when she entered Menig, where she had the best medical staff and loving care for the remainder of her life.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Pauline Morrill of Sharon; a grandson, Neil Morrill and his wife, Margie of Sharon; two granddaughters, Penny Cross and her husband, Jim of South Royalton and Fayanne Morrill of South Royalton; four great grandchildren, Travis Cross, Lee Cross, Morgan Morrill and Richard Morrill; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Richard Billings on March 4, 1993; a son-in-law, Fay Morrill on March 6, 2004; six brothers, Leon, Arthur, Ernest, Edward, Clarence and George; and three sisters, Evalina, Regina and Alice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either: Menig Extended Care Activities Fund, c/o Terry McDougal, PO Box 2000, Randolph, 05060 or Alzheimer’s Association of Vermont, 300 Cornerstone Drive, Williston, 05495.
Messages of sympathy for the family can be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com
This obituary first appeared in the March 28, 2013 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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