Karlene Helm Griffin
1944 - 2021
Karlene Helm Griffin, 77, of Conroe, Texas, died in her daughter's home in Allen, Texas, surrounded by family on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. Karlene was born on July 12, 1944, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to the late Karl Joseph Helm and Edna Eloise Cain Helm. Her family settled in Bellaire, Texas, in 1949, where she was raised alongside her brother and sister, George Wayne Helm and Karen Sue Ellison.

A 1962 graduate from Bellaire High School, Karlene went on to pursue her undergraduate degree at Sam Houston State University. Karlene's passion of learning lead her to complete her studies in 3 years. During this time, Karlene met her future husband Norman Griffin, and in 1965, Karlene followed her Uncle Dennis Helm to become the second Helm college graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

Karlene and Norman married on Aug. 20, 1966, and settled in Houston where Karlene began her education career. In 1973, Norman and Karlene welcomed their first daughter, Dana Jean Griffin. In 1976, after welcoming their second daughter, Stacy Griffin Spears, they relocated to Conroe, Texas, where they would plant roots.

Karlene taught 20+ years in elementary education, wrapping up her lengthy career at Runyan Elementary where she transitioned from the classroom to a certified Reading Recovery Program educator. Karlene thrived teaching one-on-one with her students, and we continue to learn of the impact she's had on the hundreds of students she's taught throughout the years.

Karlene's greatest love was for her family. She is survived by her husband of 55 years Norman Griffin of Conroe; her brother George Helm and wife Lauran of Fort Worth, her sister Karen Sue Ellison and husband Gene of Bellaire, her daughters Dana Griffin and husband Terry Gilman of North Augusta, South Carolina, and Stacy Spears and husband Jason Spears of Allen; her grandchildren Michael Gilman and wife Liz Gilman of Tampa, Florida, Matthew Gilman of North Augusta, South Carolina, Thomas Gilman of Columbia, South Carolina, and Avery Spears and Griffin Spears of Allen. Karlene is also survived by her many nieces, nephews, friends and extended family who will miss her deeply.

Karlene was a Biblical scholar, passionate lover of America, follower of the political system, and enjoyed all things seafood. The ocean has always called to her and will be her final Earthly resting place.

A celebration of life will be held at the Presbyterian Church, 2727 N Loop 336 W, Conroe, TX 77304 on October 29, 2021, at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Karlene's honor to Runyan Elementary, 1101 Foster Dr., Conroe, TX 77301 to be used in their reading programs.
Published by The Courier of Montgomery County from Oct. 10 to Oct. 11, 2021.
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Celebration of Life
Presbyterian Church
2727 N Loop 336 W, Conroe, TX
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