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Helen Prehn

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Helen Prehn Obituary
Helen Grace Burkhart Prehn 1926-2013 Helen Prehn's top priority - family - was underlined by the friends of her daughters and adult grandchildren calling her "G-Mom". G-Mom was a grown-up version of "G-Mommy," the affectionate nickname bestowed on Helen by her six grandchildren. As the matriarch, Helen steeped her family in celebrating birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, graduations, and anything else. Helen, 86, died at 10 p.m. Thursday, March 28. She survived a bout with liver cancer, but died in her bed at The Summit at Northwest Hills after a stroke. Her daughters were at her side. While family was her top priority, Helen also was a dedicated volunteer. She served on the boards of St. David's Medical Center, St. David's Foundation and People's Community Clinic; was president of the St. David's Medical Center Auxiliary; tutored at Zavala Elementary School; and helped in the office at First United Methodist Church. Helen was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, and a graduate of Beaumont High School. She attended Baylor University her freshman year, before transferring to Louisiana State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Spanish. At LSU, Helen began a life-long love affair with Alpha Delta Pi sorority, where she served as President. For decades, she held numerous local, regional and national positions with ADPi. Helen married Peter Terwey of Nederland, Texas, and had three children: David Terwey, Kathryn Longley McNeely, and Emily Yeager. They lived in Beaumont, North Carolina, and College Station while Peter obtained his doctorate in mathematics. Then they settled in Beaumont, where Helen worked for IBM. They later moved to Houston, where she worked at Baylor Medical Center. Helen and Peter divorced in 1964, and she went back to work for IBM in Houston. In 1967, Helen married Walter Lawrence (Larry) Prehn, Jr. She resigned from IBM to deal with their merged household of seven children. In 1971, they moved to San Antonio, where Helen worked for Dr. Jim Story, head of the Neurological Surgery Department at the Texas Health Science Center. It was in San Antonio that the birth of son David's only child, Jennifer Terwey, gave Helen her first grandchild. Helen and Larry later moved to Dallas, where she worked at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Department of Neurosurgery. They finally moved to Austin in 1982, after daughter Kathryn and husband Joe Longley (and G-Mom) were blessed with twin sons Adam and Bill, followed shortly by daughter Grace Ann. In Austin, Helen worked for Dr. Charles Mullins, Vice-Chancellor for Health Affairs at the University of Texas System. She and Larry were active members at Austin's First United Methodist Church. Helen added two grandchildren when daughter Emily, also of Austin, had Russell and then Kathryn Yeager. Helen's son David died of liver cancer in 2010. His widow, Sally Lennon Terwey, continues to live in Chapel Hill, NC. Helen's survivors include her daughters, Kathryn McNeely (Dave), and Emily Yeager. Grandchildren are Jennifer Thomas (Ryan), Adam Longley, Bill Longley (Meagan), Grace Ann Longley Fox (Sean), Russell Yeager (Jordan), and Kathryn Yeager. Great-grandchildren are Jackson Thomas, and Patrick and Ethan Fox. A memorial service is set for 2 p.m. Monday, April 8, at University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe. Free parking is available at the Platinum parking lot on the corner of 25th Street and Guadalupe. Interment will be private. Helen's family gives special thanks to Mary and Emily of Hospice Austin, and the caring staff of the Summit at Northwest Hills. Memorials may be sent to Hospice Austin, 4107 Spicewood Springs Rd., Austin 78759 (www.hospiceaustin.org); the People's Community Clinic, 2909 N. IH-35, Austin 78722 (Austinpcc.org); or . Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Mar. 31, 2013
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