Helen Lutricia Powell, 75, of Fairbanks, made her journey to heaven on Feb. 11, 2013, at her home, with loved ones by her side, after a very long battle with cancer.
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Helen requested there be no memorial service.
Helen was born Nov. 28, 1937, in Pocahontas, Ark., to the late Anthony and Velma Geiser. She married John Michael Helmer and had two sons, John Michael and James William.
Helen and John later divorced and in February 1986, Helen married David Powell. She spent the earlier part of her life raising her boys in California. She then made the long move to Alaska where she worked for the Culinary Union in Prudhoe Bay.
In 1993, Helen opened Rocking Years Assisted Living Home. In 2006, with her granddaughter, Nicole Masson, she opened Rocking Years Assisted Living II. She had a passion for working with elders.
She loved being with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and vacationing all across the Lower 48. Helen loved cooking, reading, long drives and was always ready for a shopping trip to Anchorage with her great-grandkids.
She was especially close with granddaughter Nicole Masson whom she loved dearly and raised as her own. Helen's wish for Nicole was that she follow in her footsteps and continue operating both Rocking Years Assisted Living Homes.
Nicole said, "My grandma was the most amazing woman I've ever known. She was like a mother to me. All who knew us, saw how very close we were. She was my everything, my rock. Caring, loyal, hardworking, and let us not forget "feisty." Most of all, my grandma was a fighter who never gave up on anything or anyone. In her last hours, she fought hard, but finally was at peace. It gave me strength to know she finally would get to be with my dad, (John Michael Helmer) her son. I just wished he had not called upon her so soon. I will forever love and miss,
- Ron Tramer
"We little knew that morning
that God was going to call your name.
In life, we loved you dearly,
In death, we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you.
You did not go alone
for part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.
You left us peaceful memories,
your love is still our guide,
and through we cannot see you,
you are always at our side.
Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same
but as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again."
All who knew her will sorely miss her. Her family said, "We have lost someone so very dear to our hearts and she will be missed and loved forever. She was the best grandma in the world."
She is survived by her son, James W. (Cathy) Helmer, of Mancos, Colo.; granddaughters Nicole L. (Robert P.) Masson, of Fairbanks, and Alicia N. Helmer, of Mancos, Colo.; great-grandchildren Taegan E. Masson, Kamdyn R. Masson and Tayona N. Masson, all of Fairbanks; sister Martha Goldsberry, of Joplin, Mo.; and extended friends and family, Elizabeth Bouse, Lahoma Fleshman, Monta Faye Lane and Donna Weise.
In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her late husband, David Powell; sister Marge Powers; and son John Michael Helmer.
Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on Feb. 21, 2013