Lois W. Hellen passed away Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the age of 97. Lois was born on December 14, 1915 to Hassie Walker Webb and Thomas S. Webb in the Rosedale Community, now North Beaumont. She attended Voth-Rosedale elementary school and graduated from Beaumont High School in 1933. In 1935 Lois received an Associate Degree from Lamar Junior college, and pursued secretarial training at Chenier Business College. After working for a short period, Lois entered the University of Texas in 1937, and completed her Bachelor's Degree in 1940. While at Texas, Lois became a member of Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority. Returning to Beaumont, Lois began a teaching career at Voth-Rosedale (now Roy Guess) Elementary School where she met a fellow teacher and husband to be, Fred Hellen, Sr. Lois and Fred were married in July, 1941 and continued their teaching careers. World events intervened later that year; however, with the United States entering World War II. Fred took a job in Mobile, Alabama at the Alabama Dry Docks & Ship Yard building cargo ships and tankers for the war effort. Lois spent most of the War Years working as a civilian secretary at Brookley Field, Army Air Force Base, in Mobile. While in Mobile, the couple's first son, Fred Hellen, Jr. was born in 1945. With the War's end, the family returned to Beaumont in late 1945. By 1949, Lois had returned to teaching first as a substitute, and later as a third grade teacher at Edwards Elementary. She temporarily retired from teaching in the mid-1950's, and was blessed with the birth of her second son, Thomas David Hellen in 1956. In 1961 she helped organize and taught at the pre-school program at Trinity United Methodist Church. By 1967 Lois returned to Beaumont I. S. D. as a teacher at Lincoln Junior High, and in the early 1970's at the Head Start Program. She finished her teaching career in 1981 after a six year stint at First Christian Church Pre-School. In the late 1940's, Lois began to meet with other Alpha Chi Omega sorority alumnae in the Jefferson County area that resulted in the organization of a local AXO alumnae club. In the mid 1950's this group, with Lois' active participation, worked to establish the Alpha Chi Omega sorority chapter (Gamma Phi) at Lamar State college of Technology, now Lamar University. Lois was a member, and served as an officer, of several local and national groups including the Minglewood Garden Club, the Southeast Texas Genealogical & Historical Society, and local chapters of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK) honorary teacher's sorority. She was also a Cub Scout Den Mother and active in the Parent Teacher's Association (PTA) during the time that her sons were in Eugene Field Elementary and James Bowie Junior High School. Lois was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and infant sister, Elizabeth. She is survived by her sons Fred Hellen, Jr. of Beaumont, and Thomas D. Hellen of Longview; daughter-in-law Cindy Loggins Hellen, and twin granddaughters Sadie and Emma Hellen also of Longview. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, or the SET Humane Society. A gathering of family and friends will be held Tuesday, November 26, 2013 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Claybar Kelley-Watkins Funeral Home. A graveside service will take place Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in Magnolia Cemetery.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Nov. 26, 2013