Helen Louise Vallie, Mother, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother, Great-Great-Grandmother, and the Matriarch of our family, passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by family on Saturday, February 15, 2020. She slipped away from her earthly home and was welcomed by her Savior and a host of family and friends in Heaven.
Helen began her life on September 13, 1926 (not a Friday as she would often tell people) in Chickasha, Oklahoma. She was the only daughter of Claude Hugh Copher and Bessie Louanna Hensley. After the depression began, her father moved the family to Charlie, Texas, to work on the family farm. She would often tell stories of her childhood with her parents and extended family. Helen graduated from Petrola High School in 1943 at the age of 16. Shortly after graduating, she moved with her Aunt Ester Steward to Bellflower, CA. She began working at the 6th Ferry Command US Army Post in Long Beach, CA., working in the message center as a typist, and delivering messages to other parts of the post by bicycle. During this time, she was able to attend the big USO shows, held in the lavish canteens, where the big entertainers of that time would perform nightly for the troops.
Helen moved from California in 1948 to Artesia NM. She began working at a local dry goods store, where she met the love of her life, Don Vallie, they were married November 11, 1950 in Artesia. Don began a career in the oil industry, bringing about moves to Hobbs, NM, Monahans, TX, Pecos, TX, Grand Junction CO, Farmington, NM, Tucson, AZ, and Camp Hill, PA. Monahans was always home base, and they returned for good in 1968. During the times in Monahans, the Vallie’s opened the “Burger Bar” from 1960 to 1963, and
established the “Bullfighter Restaurant” in 1969, where the entire family worked until it was sold in 1974. Helen worked in the deli at Furr’s Supermarket, then joined the dietary staff as a cook at Ward Memorial Hospital. While at the hospital, she became a certified dietician, leading her to the position of Director of Dietary until her retirement on June 30, 1993. Not one to be still for long, Helen joined the Pink Ladies as a volunteer on July 1, 1993 and stayed active until 2016 when her health prevented her participation.
Helen was raised in the Church of Christ, but married a Methodist, so she became a member of The First United Methodist Church of Monahans in 1952. She was forced to join the Monahans Professional Business women’s club by her sister-in-law Opal Martin but resigned after a few months so she could spend more time with her grandchildren. In her 80’s, and after most of those grandchildren were grown, she refused to remain idle, and became the favorite employee at The Monahans News until this past October.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don Vallie Sr., daughter Jeanette Vallie Woodall Hurt, grandson Donald David Woodall, and great grand-daughter Madison Knight.
Helen is survived by Preston Vallie and wife Diane, Don Vallie Jr., Bill Vallie and wife Tammy, Frank Vallie and wife Judy, Bob Vallie and wife Pam; Grandchildren include Sean, Michael, Misty, Kristi, Penny, Donna, Delton, Brandi, Kelli, Misty, Frankie Jr., Elaine, Conni, Jessi, Billy Jr., Megan, Sarah, Robby, Amy, and Jimmy; 38 great-grandchildren, 11 great-great-grandchildren, nephew Frank Hill, niece Raedeen Hill Sauer, and numerous extended friends who Helen thought of as family. Her unconditional love was truly a gift from God.
The family would like to show a special appreciation to the following: Myrt Ostrowski for being a devoted friend and caregiver, who enabled Mom to remain in her earthly home till she was called Home; the loving care of her Nurse Practitioner and extended family Cheryl Vallie-Porter, who was also with her until her last moment on earth; the caring staff at Ward Memorial Hospital who treated her as one of their own; Smokey Briggs and her work family at the The Monahans News, who gave a 93-year old a place to feel needed and productive; and Lisa Rodriguez, her Home Hospice Nurse, who lovingly helped her in her last month.
Visitation will be 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Monday, February 17, 2020 at Harkey Funeral Home. Funeral services will be 1:00 PM Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at the First United Methodist Church in Monahans. Burial will follow at Monahans Memorial Cemetery. Funeral services are under the direction of Harkey Funeral Home. Visit our website at harkeyfunerals.com to sign the guestbook or leave a message for the family.
Honorary pallbearers will be Frank Peters, Terry Forga, Dana Bellamy, Ronnie McPheeters, Richard Hernandez, Jimmy Hayes, David Cutbirth and Mike Calhoun. Helen’s immediate family will serve as her pallbearers.
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