Helen Lucille Tomlinson (1923 - 2019)

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Obituary

Helen Lucille Tomlinson left us to rejoin Pop in Heaven on May 12, 2019. She passed peacefully in her sleep. Leon Waymon "Pop" Tomlinson preceded her in death in 2003.
Helen (the Banny) was born on April 30, 1923, in Altoona, Kan., to Robert and Della Harris. She was the oldest of four siblings, each of whom preceded her in death.
She had just celebrated her 96th birthday at Elk Run Assisted Living in Evergreen with her two children, Danny and his wife Amy and Linda and her husband George. 
Banny's father worked for the Colorado & Southern Railroad, and they moved frequently when she was young, eventually settling in Denver, where Banny attended and graduated from North High School. She and Pop were high school sweethearts and were married for 59 years and 7 months when he passed.
She worked as an office manager in Denver until 1957 when they bought the Gambles store in Idaho Springs. They operated the store for about 10 years until Pop went to work for the Colorado Highway Department as a snowplow operator.
Banny worked as an executive assistant to Ruben Hopper, the chief engineer during the building of the Eisenhower Tunnel. She was the first woman to actually go into the tunnel, at Ruben's urging. She knew of the miners' superstition about women underground, but Ruben said he wanted her to go with him into the tunnel.
The Rocky Mountain News had a full-page story on her brief trip underground. 
Later she worked as executive assistant to the president of First State Bank in Idaho Springs. When Pop retired in 1987, they spent a lot of time in their motor home, traveling all around the country - especially to Branson, Mo., for the music and to Pennsylvania to spend time with Linda and George and their daughters, Toby and Tammy.
When they bought the Gambles store, the family needed a home, and the original Catholic Church in Idaho Springs, built in 1883, was for sale. Banny and Pop bought the old church and immediately Pop began remodeling the church into a home. Danny and Amy are now living in the house.
Banny and Pop were very active in the Masonic Lodge and the Order of Eastern Star. She was the Grand Chaplain of the OES in the mid-'70s, and they traveled extensively around Colorado to visit the Eastern Star chapters.  
Banny missed Pop, the love of her life, after his passing but was able to spend time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren - Danny's son Jake and Linda's daughters Toby and her three daughters and Tammy's daughter and son. She enjoyed going to the Breakfast Inn with Danny and Amy on Sunday morning and to Burger King with her friend Mary at Windsor Gardens. 
Helen is survived by her son Danny and his wife Amy of Idaho Springs and Danny's son Jake of Denver; her daughter Linda Powell and Linda's husband George and their daughters – Toby Scalia (wife of Terry Scalia) and Banny's great-grandchildren McKenna, Hannah and Avery, all of Huntingdon, Pa., and Tammy Stinson (wife of Michael Stinson) and Banny's great-grandchildren Olivia and Gavin, all of Huntingdon, Pa.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Idaho Springs Masonic Lodge No. 26, P.O. Box 1623, Idaho Springs, CO 80452.
Published in Clear Creek Courant on May 15, 2019
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