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Helen Marie Crum

1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Helen Marie Crum Obituary
HELEN MARIE CRUM, 95, passed away on Monday August 24, 2015 at Woodville Manor in Riverside, California. Helen was the only child born on April 12, 1920 to Harry and Martha Powers of Decatur, Illinois. She was an honors student throughout her school years and was Valedictorian of her class at Stephen Decatur High School. She was awarded a scholarship to Milliken University in Decatur, Illinois. She married her high school sweetheart, James Leroy Crum, on December 24, 1943 in Colorado Springs, Co. and was left a widow on February 22, 1979. Helen was a career person whose career spanned 41 years. Although for many years she was never able to divulge details of one of her first work experiences, a few years ago she finally revealed that she had worked for the Manhattan Project in the early 1940's in Decatur, Illinois, working for one of a number of entities located throughout the United States doing mathematical calculations for the Project. Helen was Inventory Control Manager for Montgomery Ward both in Illinois and in California and later served with the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools as head of the Certificated Retirement Department, retiring on April 12, 1982. Helen immediately entered into a 30 year period of active volunteer service, which merited her receiving the "Volunteer of the Year" Award from the Kiwanis Club in 1992. Over the years she also received may more Senior Volunteer Awards. She was active in the Auxiliary for the Riverside Community Hospital, was a Red Cross Volunteer at March AFB, and in 1984 following a double bypass and seeing the need for exercise for all seniors, became a volunteer exercise instructor for the Janet Groeske Senior Citizen's Center, continuing this role until well into her 90's. She was especially proud of the day in October 1984 when she found Nancy Reagan in her class. Helen was also part of the Goeske Dance group, performing at various centers. For many years she also auditioned bands and coordinated the Janet Goeske Senior Center's Thursday night ballroom dinner dances. Helen was also a legislative advocate for senior citizens. She was on the Senior Advisory Committee for Congressman George E. Brown and was sent to Washington, D.C. by the Office on Aging to attend the "Close Up Foundation" which sponsors people to observe and study government behind the scenes. Helen was one of the founding members of the Partnership to Preserve Independent Living for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities (now Independent Living Partnership) which is a special self-directed mileage reimbursement transportation program which helps qualified individuals get to doctors, get groceries and continue to live independently. Helen has also served as Vice President of the Military Retirees, life member of Military Widows, Honorary member of the Retired Teachers Association, Board Member for the Senior Disabled Citizens Coalition, Senior Advisory Volunteer for Congressman Brown, Jr., Commissioner for the Mayor and City Council Boards. In her spare time, Helen was an avid square dancer and served as CCHA Representative for Raincross Square Dancing Club and director for Roar n' Twirlers, Rocking M's and Freedom Swingers Square Dancing clubs as well as an active board member of the Cow Counties Hoedown Association. She served as chairperson for many State Square Dancing conventions. Helen was truly a high energy lady who found volunteer work very rewarding and in her own words said that she "dislikes saying 'no' whenever there is a need in the community." A memorial service will be held at Acheson and Graham Garden of Prayer Mortuary at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 11, 2015 located at 7944 Magnolia Ave. in Riverside which will be followed by a burial service at the Riverside National Cemetery at 22495 Van Buren Blvd. at 11:30 a.m. Following burial, there will be a reception at the Janet Goeske Senior Center located at 5257 Sierra St. in Riverside.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Sept. 8, 2015
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