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Chico, CA 95928
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Helen T. Carlisle

1921 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
Helen T. Carlisle Obituary

Helen Turner Carlisle, a long-time Chico resident, passed away peacefully on July 8, 2012, following a long illness. She was 90 years old. Helen is survived by her daughter, Deborah Tills, her sons Rodney and Joseph Carlisle, her sister, Chico resident Nancy Turner Dunham, and six grandchildren. Helen is preceded in death by her husband of over 70 years, Jason Carlisle.

Helen was proud of her pioneer heritage. She was born in Red Bluff on October 17, 1921. Her great-grandparents on both sides emigrated to California in the 1850s and lived in the Chico area before moving to Red Bluff. Her great-grandfather John Turner, for whom Turner Mountain is named, founded the storied Turner Ranch in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

She always loved writing and was a published poet by the age of 14. She later published two books of poetry. Helen attended Sacramento State University, majoring in journalism, and found her first employment as a reporter for the Red Bluff Daily News. She married her high school sweetheart, Jason Carlisle, in 1940; a career officer in the United States Air Force. While an officer and diplomat's wife, she always made a home for her family in many places in the United States and Europe. When her husband retired, they moved to Chico where she renewed early friendships and quickly became active in numerous local activities, including the Symphony Guild, Chico Republican Women, and Enloe Hospital Volunteers, just to name a few.

While her first priority in life was raising a family in remote locales, Helen always found time for writing. Her lifelong interest in poetry found its voice in her careful observation of the changing seasons and her lyrical expression of personal reminiscence mixed with the glories of Nature. A personal favorite was the following:


The rain strikes down like silver fire,

And falls in silver flashes,

And all the silver pools I see,

Are pools of silver ashes.

Once again the ancient rites,

Unfold before my eyes,

And from the ashes phoenix-like,

I see the Spring arise.

Of all the places in the world that Helen lived, she loved Northern California the most.

A heartfelt thanks to all of her family and friends who loved her, inspired her, and enriched her life.

Burial arrangements are being handled by Brusie Funeral Home of Chico; a graveside memorial is planned later in the summer.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.brusiefh.com
Published in Daily News on July 19, 2012
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