April 13, 1927 - April 28, 2019
Helen Lee Pike Walker passed away peacefully at her home in San Antonio, TX on April 28, 2019. Helen was born in El Paso, TX on April 13, 1927 to James E. and Edith Ohlsen Pike. The family moved to San Antonio when Helen was six months old where her father pursued a career as a civil engineer and her mother was a home- maker.
Helen grew up in San Antonio and graduated from Edison High School and then attended Trinity University. During WWII, she worked at Ft. Sam Houston Brooke General Hospital. During this time, Helen met Kenneth, her "husband to be" at a USO picnic at Landa Park. Upon his return from Germany in 1945, Ken and Helen got married in San Antonio.
Helen was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great-great grandmother. Helen and Ken raised one daughter Lee (Walker) Cowley, and 4 sons, James, Robert, John and Mark. In 1949, the Walker family moved to Waukegan, Il where Ken's mother lived. Shortly thereafter, Ken and Helen founded Pleasant Thoughts Greeting Card Company. The company was successful and was sold in 1962 to Gibson Greetings.
In 1963, Helen and Ken and family moved back to San Antonio and started a new business - a rental car company called $3.99 Car Rentals. Helen worked the car rental counter downtown at 3rd and Broadway, helped with the books and made sales to the military bases.
During the 1960's and 70's the company consisted of several different franchises. In 1984, Helen and Ken, with the help of their children consolidated all operations under their own name "Advantage Rent-A-Car" and began the next chapter of one of the most dynamic and successful independent car rental companies in the world. When the family sold San Antonio based Advantage, the fleet consisted of tens of thousands of vehicles supported by over a thousand dedicated employees. At the time, the company had over 150 locations in the U.S. and licensees and affiliates in 24 countries world wide.
Helen and Ken's legacy lives on as the family still owns and operates Star Shuttle & Charter, Abbey Walker Executive Cars & Limousines, Gray Line Sightseeing Tours in Central and South Texas, SuperShuttle of San Antonio and real estate investments throughout the southwest U.S.
Helen was a deeply spiritual person and a dedicated servant of the Lord at Covenant Presb- yterian Church where Ken and she were members since 1963 (56 years). Helen served as a deacon for several terms, Church librarian and sang in the Church choir for over 4 decades.
She was a wordsmith and was fascinated by words, language and word puzzles. She was known for her great sense of humor, quick wit and especially known for helping others in times of great need. Another passion of Helen's was organizing and even hosting Edison High School reunions that often included classes from the 1930's, 40's and 50's. Helen was also an avid Spurs and Cubs fan.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth J. Walker, her parents, her brother Jimmy who died at age 2, and her sister June James and brother-in-law Jesse James. Helen is survived by her five children: Lee Walker Cowley and husband Warren of Austin, Jimmy Walker and wife Kay of Lake McQueeney, Bob Walker and wife Pattie of San Antonio, John Walker and wife Suzie of San Antonio, and Mark Walker of San Antonio and his fiancée Monica Cobb of Dallas. Additionally, Helen is survived by 17 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 3 great-great- grandchildren.
There will be a visitation at Mission Park Funeral Chapels, 3401 Cherry Ridge Dr, San Antonio, TX 78230 from 6-9 PM on Wednesday May 8, 2019.
A private graveside service and internment at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery will occur on Thursday May 9, 2019 at 11:30 AM followed by a memorial service for all friends and family at 12:30 PM at Covenant Presb- yterian Church, 211 Roleto Dr, San Antonio, 78213. The Walker Family is especially grateful that Rev. Dr. John Judson, Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Birmingham, Michigan and former Moderator of the Presbytery of Detroit will preside.
There will be a reception with lunch provided immediately following the memorial service in Mission Hall at Covenant Presb- yterian Church.
Helen's family would like to thank Helen von Hapsburg and the caregivers Maria P, Rosalie, Victoria, Jackie, Anna, Erlinda, Cortney, Janet and Maria G. for their care and compassion.
Memorial donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Meals on Wheels of San Antonio, 4306 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas 78229. https://www.mowsatx.org/
Published by San Antonio Express-News on May 5, 2019.