With deepest sorrow, we share with you the death on November 1, 2020 of our beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, Helen Laura Fuentes. Helen (AKA "Punky" to friends, AKA "Nanny" to family) was born May 8, 1938 to parents Joseph "Big Jody" and Dorothy Beiley in Charleston, SC. Helen is survived by her two daughters, Teri Richardson (Rancho Palos Verdes, CA) and Jodi Pestello (Dewey, AZ); her grandchildren, Kasia Razevich, Kris Perez, Ashlie Wailehua, Cameron Fuentes, Nicholas Pestello; great-grandchildren, Kaela, Kai, Kalia, Trexton and Tryston, and loyal cat Sunni Garcia Fuentes. Helen graduated with the Winter class of 1956 from San Pedro High School. To friends and neighbors, Helen was very soft spoken and courteous. To her family, Nanny was a fighter and had been a fighter her whole life. After a debilitating car accident in her teenage years, Helen was left with lifelong injuries to her legs and jaw. Over the course of her life, she fought macular degeneration, detached retinas, several knee replacements, broken hips, breast cancer and melanoma. Everything that was thrown her way, she fought and showed those close to her that she was ALWAYS ready for the fight. After all the challenges in her life, Helen taught her grand and great-grandchildren the importance of being strong, being patient, being considerate, how to win at Solitaire, being a good sport at Monopoly and how to make the most perfectly splendid peanut butter, mayonnaise and pickle sandwiches. Helen had an undying love of reading, which even after losing her sight from multiple unsuccessful retina reattachment surgeries, she received multiple books on tape a week that she would listen to and finish as soon as possible. Helen, despite the hardships she overcame, she was and will continue to be an inspiration for all future generations. Memorial service will be held at a safe and appropriate time. In lieu of flowers, please make sure your own children, grand and/or great-grandchildren are registered to vote AND vote to preserve the rights for the LGBQT+ community, the environment and vote for a woman's right to decide what's right for their own body.
Published in Palos Verdes Peninsula News on Nov. 13, 2020.