Helen Harvey McGee Ludlam, 87, passed away on Saturday, December 20, 2008, at St. Dominic- Jackson Memorial Hospital.
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A private graveside service will be followed by a memorial service at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church on Wednesday, December 24, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be held in the Church Parlor from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 23, 2008. Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home in Jackson is handling the arrangements.
Mrs. Ludlam was preceded in death by her parents; and her husband, Warren V. Ludlam, Jr.
She is survived by her children, Helen Dalehite of Jackson, Warren Ludlam of Greensboro, NC and Steve Ludlam and wife, Carolyn of Jackson. Also surviving are six grandchildren, Rob Dalehite of San Francisco, Kimberlin Dalehite of Los Angeles, Steven and Julia Ludlam of Jackson and Meredith and Natalie Ludlam of Greensboro.
Helen Harvey was born in Sherman, Texas to Helen Harvey and Clyde McGee. She had a wonderful childhood growing up in Jackson, enjoying these years immensely with the companionship of many neighborhood friends at Power Elementary School and Central High School. Helen attended Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchberg, Virginia, where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. In 1948 she and Warren married and the two shared many common interests over their 52 year marriage, having a wonderful, loving and devoted life together. They traveled widely for MS Bar and American Bar meetings, making lifelong friends whom they subsequently visited across the U.S. and in many foreign countries.
Helen and Warren worked for many years to help establish the International Ballet Competition, from its inception in 1978 as Mississippi Ballet International, which has since become deeply rooted as an important part of Jackson's cultural heritage. Their love of the IBC took them on numerous trips to ballet competitions in Russia, Finland, Bulgaria, Japan and many cities world-wide with friends and family. The couple enjoyed cooking and entertaining friends in their home, hosting many parties and fundraising efforts on a regular basis. Helen's gracious, welcoming personality was extended to guests from around the world, making all feel at ease and at home in Mississippi. She served on the IBC Board of Directors and was instrumental in starting the Friends of the IBC, working tirelessly statewide during and between the 4-year competitions to promote the organization.
In 1991, Helen suffered a debilitating stroke, which left her partially paralyzed. Until his death in 2000, Warren lovingly devoted his time to caring for Helen's needs, seeing that she was able to continue to be a part of the community groups which she so enjoyed. Helen never gave up her love of being with friends, continuing to attend meetings whenever possible, attending local clubs to speak on behalf of the ballet, and being active on phone committees. Her amazing positive attitude was a wonderful role model for others with disabilities, as well as to her friends and family. Never feeling sorry for herself because of her severe disability, she consistently expressed her sincere appreciation to all who assisted her. With the help of family and devoted companions, she continued to share her big smile and welcoming demeanor with everyone around her.
Helen was a member of numerous community organizations including the Junior League of Jackson, the Monday Club, High Noon Club, Southern Luncheon Club, Pleiades Club, Matrons Luncheon Club, Gourmet Luncheon Club, Antique Club, Town Club and several bridge clubs. Helen is fondly remembered by a generation of friends of her three children, whom she loved entertaining for many years in her home.
The family expresses deep appreciation to the wonderfully devoted women and men who assisted our mother for over 17 years including Minnie Parker, Laura Smith,
Rae Fulgham, Abe Lindsay, Marion Seaton, Pearl Randall, Louise Baker, and Sharon Parker. Their kindness and attentiveness were boundless, and will never be forgotten. Additional appreciation goes to the staff of Highland Home Nursing Center.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to Galloway United Methodist Church, PO Box 1092, Jackson, MS 39215 or the International Ballet Competition, P.O. Box 3696, Jackson, MS 39207.
Published in Clarion Ledger on Dec. 22, 2008