Helma Hunter (1927 - 2014)

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Helma Irene Hunter died May 30, 2014, in Providence St. Vincent's Hospital, Portand, Ore., with her family by her bedside. Helma was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the lungs in June 2013. She was born in Benkelman, Neb., to Clement and Lenna Freel. A celebration of life service will be Saturday, June 28, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. in Davenport's Chapel of the Good Shepherd at Klamath Memorial Park with Bill Davenport officiating. Visitation and cremation by Pyramid Cremation were held at an earlier date. Davenport's Chapel of the Good Shepherd is in charge of the arrangements. At the time of Helma's birth, the family resided in Benkelman. As times got harder, they moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., in search of work. They stayed there until moving to Oregon in 1935. They arrived in Rogue River, Ore., where Helma's father panned for gold to provide for his family. When she was 8 years old, Helma and her sister, Leona were playing on the rocks next to where the men were panning for gold. She fell and broke her tailbone. She stayed in bed for seven days and never told her parents, which made giving birth to her children very painful. Helma learned to swim in the Rogue River when her brothers threw her in the water. It was sink or swim! In 1942, Helma's family moved to Portland, Ore., where she went to high school before moving to Klamath Falls. In 1944, Helma met her husband, Leland Hunter, whom she met through her brother, Blaine. On Nov. 24, 1944, she and Leland were married in Reno, Nev. They went on to have three beautiful daughters, Starla, Twila and Rhonda. She was a stay-at-home mom until the girls graduated from high school. She then started working alongside her husband, who started the Alameda Nursery in 1961, and they worked together until 1967 when they bought the Klamath Flower Shop on Main Street in Klamath Falls. Helma's daughter Twila went to work for them as the bookkeeper. In 1969, Helma's husband relocated the flower shop to the same address on South Alameda Avenue as the Alameda Nursery, where she worked side-by-side with her husband and daughter Twila until she retired in 2004. After her husband passed away in 2005, she went back to the shop in 2007 to help Twila. Helma stood up and took over helping even more when her daughter, Twila was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012. Little did we know that Helma would be diagnosed 13 months later! Helma was very proud of her family. She loved to cook as a gift to her family. She made sure Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were very festive. She was very proud of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Helma was a very loving person to her family and community. She will be greatly missed. She is survived by her children, Starla and Alden Glidden of Klamath Falls and Rhonda and Rick Gustafson of Banks, Ore.; grandchildren, Machel Ramirez, Dickie and Raquel Beals and Robert and Ericka Beals of Klamath Falls, Neil and Kris (Glidden) Zingg of Klamath Falls, and Roxane and Tracy Tuntland, Regina Vandecoevering and Rodney and Donna Gustafson of Forest Grove, Ore.; great-grandchildren, Veronica, Bebeanna and Esmeralda Ramirez, Richard James, Taryn, Derrick, Mackenzie, Hunter, Phoebie, Abby, and Jordan Beals, Ashley Vandecoevering, Amber Elliott, and Deja and Riva Gustafson; great-great-grandchildren; Tatiana and Nayeli Jaime, Gianny Aguilar and Cael Wells; and sister, Eva Mills. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Kenneth, Blaine and Robert; sisters, Clysta, Marge and Leona; daughter, Twila A. D'Orazio Aug. 8, 2013, and her husband, Leland, Jan. 15, 2005.

Funeral Home
Davenport's Chapel of the Good Shepherd
2680 Memorial Drive Klamath Falls, OR 97601
(541) 883-3458
Funeral Home Details
Published in Herald And News on June 25, 2014
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