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Helen Jo (Appleby, Reiger) Black


1926 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Helen Jo (Appleby, Reiger) Black Obituary
Helen Jo Black passed away peacefully at home Thursday, May 5, 2011, in Alamogordo.
Helen was born in Donna, Texas, on Oct. 25, 1926, to Fred Elliott Appleby and Thelma Elizabeth (Jackson) Appleby. She had an older brother, Fred Jr.
Helen's childhood was spent in Donna. Upon graduation from Donna High School, Helen moved to El Paso. She later moved to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico A&M University (now known as New Mexico State University).
After moving to Alamogordo in 1955, Helen became an active member of Grace Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school and kindergarten. In 1967, Helen returned to her career in the public schools, teaching second grade at Yucca Elementary School until her retirement in 1992.
After retirement, Helen volunteered much of her time with the Women's Auxiliary at Gerald Champion Memorial Hospital, running the gift shop and information desk with her "sisters," Ditto and Shirley.
In 1982, Helen met the love of her life, Fred Dickens. They spent many years traveling the United States from coast to coast. They loved fishing together, whether it was on a river, lake or off an ocean pier. Helen and Fred enjoyed 29 wonderful years together.
Helen is survived by her daughters Patricia Gilbertson, of Alamogordo, Debbi Humble (Joe Bradlo), of Everett, Wash. and Peggy DeRosa (Mike), of Bellingham, Wash; four grandchildren, Chad DeRosa, Chris DeRosa, Julie (Gilbertson) Watson and Bryan Gilbertson; niece Susan Lee; and nephew Martin Alan Appleby.
Cremation has already taken place. A memorial service to celebrate Helen's life will be 11 a.m. Monday, May 16, 2011, at Grace United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests Donations be made to the Alamogordo Animal Rescue Mission or to Alamogordo Home Health and Hospice.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from May 13 to June 13, 2011
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