Helen Miller Thurston, our beautiful and beloved Mother, Grandmother, great Grandmother and great-great Grandmother stepped through the veil and was received into the loving arms of her Savior, her sweetheart Doyle, her parents and all of her family. After suffering years of declining health as a result of Alzheimer’s disease, she is well and whole again. She can hear and see, and all of her precious memories will be hers again.
Helen was born May 30, 1926 to Lloyd Emerson and Olive Mae Huff Miller. She joined Margaret, William (Bill) and Betty and was followed by Lloyd Junior two years later. She was a proud survivor of the Great Depression and she knew how to cook, sew and preserve food to make the most of whatever she had. She never forgot her lessons of frugality and thankfulness.
During the last two years of high school she lived with her married sister, Margaret because her mother and step-Father, Everett Smith, had moved to California where there was work at wartime defense plants. Her mother came back for her graduation and took Helen and Betty back with her to California. She got a job at Pacific Bell and later at the Shell Oil Company. A mutual friend brought a handsome Navy man by Helen’s house and when Doyle saw her it was love at first sight. After a whirlwind courtship they were married by a Justice of the Peace in Concord, California.
When the war ended they moved back to Provo, Utah where Helen was taught the gospel by her mother-in-law, Martene Thurston and by her brothers-in-law. She was baptized on August 3, 1947. Once she was baptized she was committed to the gospel and threw herself into service in the organizations of the Church. One of her greatest desires was to be sealed in the temple, and that beautiful day came on August 27th 1957 in the Salt Lake temple.
Helen loved to roller skate and ice skate, and as a young mother she had an evening job working at a gas station where the female attendants roller skated out to the cars to pump gas. Later she worked at Sears and Roebuck for 19 years. She started out as a temp, but worked her way up to being the top salesperson in the drapery department. She had a wonderful eye for all that was beautiful. She made many lifelong friends there.
When she and Doyle retired they moved to Orem. In that beautiful home they made many new and loving friends. They set a goal to visit every temple in the 48 contiguous States and had a wonderful time doing their best to complete that goal. They loved being together whether it was in Church service, going to garage sales or gardening and canning produce, and this time was a blessing indeed.
Helen was a talented seamstress and she created beautiful clothes for her children including coats, and also draperies. She discovered the joy of working with porcelain and made statuary and porcelain dolls. She dressed the dolls in the most exquisite costumes, spending hours doing intricate hand stitching. All of her daughters, granddaughters, great-granddaughter and others are blessed to own and cherish one of her beautiful creations. It is estimated that she made over 100 dolls and refurbished and collected over 100 more.
Helen served in the Primary, Sunday School and Relief Society as a teacher, counselor and President and excelled in all of them. But her most satisfying calling was working on Humanitarian projects. She had many ideas and involved the family in projects at our annual family Christmas party in assembling hygiene and school packets. She crocheted hundreds of pairs of bootees and hundreds of balls. Her hands were seldom idle. She taught all of her children to be loving and giving, whether that meant a fresh loaf of bread or words and deeds of love and comfort.
Doyle and Helen inspired us with their love and devotion for each other. They inspired their children to seek out loving and worthy companions who could take them to the temple to continue our eternal family line. Helen said of Doyle, “My mother told me many times, ‘You had better be good to your husband because you will never find a greater man throughout the world.’ I believe and know how true this is because I love him with all my heart. I could never find a man more valiant, loving, dedicated and patient in the entire world. He is the love of my life.” How could we not rejoice that they are together again?
Helen is survived by her children: Pamela (Lynn) Mitchell, Dawn (Charles-dec) Loper, Michele (Rodney-dec) Eastman, Roxanne (Wendell) Cloward, MarTina (Gene) Harris, Robert (Lori) Thurston, Lloyd (Carolyn) Thurston, foster daughter Sharlynne Louis, 27 grandchildren, 80 great grandchildren, 25, great-great grandchildren and Sister-in-law, Helen G. Miller. She is preceded in death by her darling Doyle, her parents, her brothers and sisters, daughter-in-law Christy Adams Thurston, and sons-in-law Randy Mitchell, Charles Loper and Rodney Eastman. Private Family services are entrusted to Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, www.SundbergOlpin Mortuary.com. The family would like to thank the staff at Jamestown and those at Rocky Mountain Care for their kindness toward our mother.
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Burial will be in Eastlawn Memorial Hills Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed to the family on this page.
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