Helen Lena Chastain Bennett was born November 11, 1931 at 11 p.m. and weighed 11 pounds. Many called her the luckiest girl in the world. She was fair of face and full of life growing up to become a majorette at Anniston High School. Soon after graduating in 1950 she married Billy Ross Bennett, from Heflin, and they would bear one son. She was a true and loyal wife and mother. All her life Helen remained true to her school class mates helping to organize many reunions that became more frequent as the years passed by. She and her husband took up golf in their later years joining Indian Oaks Country Club. They both loved the game and both were loved immeasurably by the friends they met through this association. Her beloved husband passed away in 1986 and, as good as she had become, she chose to never play again. She was blessed with a grandson six months later. A few years would pass before he picked up the game and now bears the torch for his beloved Maw maw and Pawpaw. She enjoyed watching him grow and develop and delightfully followed him to many of his tournaments. Helen turned her hands to other works taking in her mother's sister, Ms. Polly Elliott from Nashville at 93 years of age. Ms. Polly lived in her home where Helen worked as a companion and caretaker until Ms. Polly passed away at the age of 103. All her life Helen loved to dance. As a young lady she took lessons from Zenobia King and entertained youthful aspirations to dance professionally. She would choose home life with her husband instead but her love for dancing never diminished. On occasion her fellow class mates would forfeit the floor just to watch her and her husband or a fellow class mate do the jitterbug. She instilled her love of dance in her son and grandson. She was an active member of First Baptist of Oxford for many years and later at Harvest Church of God, the church home of her mother and father. On December 31, at home, Helen quietly slipped away from this world leaving a son, daughter-in-law, grandson, two sisters, family and friends who loved her beyond measure. Her presence here made this world a better place. All her life her warm caring heart, bright and uplifting spirit and beautiful countenance enriched everyone around her. We were the lucky ones to know her. She will be greatly missed. She was predeceased by her husband, Billy Ross Bennett; her mother, Willie Irene Morrison Chastain; father, Alonzo (Lonnie) Ellis Chastain and brother, Jimmy Chastain. She is survived by her son, Tony Ross Bennett; daughter-in-law, Sherry Hensley Bennett; grandson, Nathan Hensley Bennett; sisters, Dorothy Hubbard and Linda Purdy and her husband, Wallace Purdy and several nieces and nephews. In her last days she was surrounded by her very loving family and friends. The family will receive visitors at Gray Brown Funeral Home in Anniston on Thursday, January 3, 2013, from 10-12 p.m. followed by services at 12 p.m. conducted by the Reverends Jerry Irwin and Don Mattox. Following the service her remains will be interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Pall bearers are Nathan Bennett, Lewis Roberts, Mike Bennett, Don Steen, Jake Hubbard and Wally Purdy. The family respectfully requests no flowers. Tony, Sherry and Nathan want to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. David Chalk, Gentiva Hospice, nurses and staff.
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Published in The Anniston Star on Jan. 2, 2013