Helena H. Whitstine (1942 - 2017)

17 entries
  • "Tom Sr and family, Just heard the sad news today. I know..."
    - Les Peck
  • "Tom, Jeff and the entire Whistine family our thoughts and..."
    - Monty and Nancy Montgomery
  • "I called her Mom also because she had such an amazing way..."
    - Lauri Sunder
  • "May God give you peace and comfort during this difficult..."
    - Rick Montgomery
  • "My deepest condolences to the entire Whitstine family."
    - Doug Vaughn
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Helena H. Whitstine, age 75, passed away on Oct. 31, 2017, at her home in Palmer, Alaska. With a captivating energy that radiated from 4'10" frame, people near and far were drawn to Helena. Always exhibiting her generous, kind and giving spirit, Helena was more than willing to help anyone in need. A southern belle at heart, no one was a stranger to Helena. As a foster mom to over 200 children, her impact on others is far-reaching.
Helena was born in Shreveport, La., on April 30, 1942, to John and Ethel Hutchins. She later moved to Edna, Texas, and met her future husband, Thomas "Tommy" Whitstine Sr. After marrying on Dec. 23, 1959, the Whitstine family remained in Texas for 15 years. During that time Helena balanced becoming a mother to two rambunctious boys and being a physical education teacher at Shields Elementary School and Patti Welder Junior High School in Victoria, Texas.
Tommy and Helena made the trek to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1974, as Tommy continued his career in the oil industry. Helena remained active with Boy Scout activities, as well as teaching at St. Mary's Pre-Kinder School and as an instructor with Stretch 'N Sew. The family then moved to Palmer, Alaska, in August 1979, where Tommy and Helena began their long journey as foster parents. They later adopted five sibling foster children in 1992.
In recent years, Helena was a fierce outdoors woman and loved spending as much time as possible seeing Alaska's beauty. She was also devoted to her family, always taking the time to support her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be greatly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing and loving her spunky and radiant personality.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Thomas Whitstine Sr.; children, Thomas Jr. and wife Sherry of Wasilla, Alaska, Jeff and wife Sandra of Palmer, Amy Ashing and husband Gavin of Palmer, Steven of Anchorage, Rodney of Anchorage, Stacey and husband Jesse of Palmer and Lilli, of Palmer; grandchildren, Jennifer, Scott, Emily, Britny, Alex, Brooke, Lauren, Odin, Skyler, Hailey and Aurora; and great-grandchildren, Ezra, Uriah, Kodi, Aubree, Abel, Audiyah, Jade, Harper and Laina. She is also survived by siblings: brother, Lee Hutchins and wife Roberta of Sinton, Texas; sister, Mrs. Mac Owen of Sinton, Texas; and brother, Charlie Hutchins and wife Nelda of Georgetown, La.; as well as many nephews and nieces and the friends who she considered family.
Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life in honor of Helena H. Whitstine on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, at 2 p.m., at the Palmer Moose Lodge, 1136 South Cobb Street in Palmer. A potluck fellowship will follow the Celebration of Life service.
Published in Anchorage Daily News from Nov. 15 to Nov. 16, 2017