Canale Funeral Directors
2700 Union Avenue Extended
Memphis, TN 38112
(901) 452-6400
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Helen Downing Oellerich

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Helen Downing Oellerich Obituary
Helen Downing Oellerich

Memphis, TN

Helen Downing Oellerich passed away Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Marked Tree, Arkansas. Helen was the oldest of Pattie and Lawrence Downing's five children. She moved to Memphis in the late 1940s to attend nursing school. While there she was devoted to her studies and displayed the virtues of prudence, restraint, and fairness as she did her entire life.

Shortly after her education, Helen met her husband, Otis, and began her career in nursing. She and Otis shared many interests including family, church, and pies - Helen baking, Otis eating. Truly a match made in heaven. Helen and Otis moved to midtown in the 1960s and remained there throughout their lives together. Their children, Bill and Sarah, soon followed.

The Oellerich family blossomed under the guidance of Helen. Her career, however, did not suffer. Helen worked full time in nursing, first as an LPN and later in the VA administrative offices in Memphis where she was an invaluable asset to the institution.

Helen was an organizing member of the Memphis Poetry Society, and longtime member of Cathedral of The Immaculate Conception.

Helen was preceded in death by her loving husband, Otis, her sister Katherine Gallina, and her brother, Edward Downing. She is survived by her children, William F. Oellerich, MD, PhD (Sherryl), and Sarah Herrell; her grandchildren, Lauren Gaia, Andrew, Matthew, and Patrick Oellerich, and Jake Jankowski; as well as her sister, Liz McCormack and brother, Barry Downing.

Visitation will be held Saturday, March 25th at 9:00 am at Canale Funeral Directors (2700 Union Ave. Ext'd) with a funeral service beginning at 10:00 am. Private burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the .
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Mar. 24, 2017
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