Mary Helen Van Santen
October 29, 1919 - November 1, 2013
Helen Van Santen passed away November 1, three days after her 94th birthday. She was born in Portland to Edward and Elizabeth Stanford, the youngest of five siblings. After graduating from Portland Union Academy, she took secretarial courses. In 1941, she married Boyd Van Santen while he was on a weekend leave from the Army. Helen worked as an executive secretary while Boyd finished his stint in the army and went back to school to become a dentist. In the meantime, two children, Roger and Marilyn, joined the family. After completing dental school, Boyd and Helen eventually settled in Salem, and opened a dental office in Stayton. Helen's secretarial experience again proved valuable as she worked for years as Boyd's receptionist/office manager. On the side, she tried her hand at selling Avon and real estate.
Boyd and Helen enjoyed travelling by airplane, motorcycles, and motor home. Their travels included Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Central America as well as most of North America.
Besides being devoted to her family and her poodles, Helen was also a life-long member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was predeceased by Boyd in 2002. Helen is survived by her son, Dr. Roger (Karen) Van Santen, daughter Marilyn Van Santen, grandchildren Lori and Eric (Stacey), and great-grandson Rylan . She will be missed.
The family would like to thank the staff at Amazing Grace Care Homes, Gentiva Hospice, and Dr. Nancy Dougherty for providing the compassionate care that Mom needed.
A private family memorial will be held at Willamette National Cemetery where Mom and Dad will be together again. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to The Quiet Hour (www.qhministries.org
) or Project Patch (www.projectpatch.org
) . Online condolences may be made through Weddle Funeral Services (www.Weddle-Funeral.com