Helen Spaulding led life devoted to caring for and helping others
Helen Spaulding passed away peacefully at the age of 93 on March 7, 2018 in Texas where her daughter lives.
She was born Marjorie Helen Stephenson July 4, 1924 in Kissimmee, Florida, the fourth daughter of Ida and Albert Stephenson.
She married Roger Carl Spaulding February 1, 1948. They first lived in Sheridan, Indiana and then in 1955 they moved to Jennings County, Indiana where they had a dairy farm. Helen was active in obstetrical nursing in both the Columbus and North Vernon hospitals, teaching kids in 4H, had many varied hobbies, and raised wild and domestic animals; and also raisedher children. They sold the farm in 2005 and moved to Springhill, Florida.
Helen was a Registered Nurse and during World War II she was enrolled in the U. S. Cadet Nurse Corps at St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in Florida. This was the nation's first integrated uniformed U.S. service corps that fulfilled an urgent need for nurses during World War II. At that time many nurses were called overseas to military service while civilian hospitals in the United States were understaffed. By 1945, Cadet Nurses were providing 80% of the nursing care in U.S. hospitals.
Helen was active in many facets of the Methodist Church including church organist.
From 1978 to 1980 she and her husband joined the Peace Corps in Liberia, West Africa. She had many adventures teaching midwifery in a bush hospital. It was the first step to becoming the missionary she always dreamed of becoming.
For three months in 1980, she worked in a Somali refugee camp supervising a feeding station and clinic as well as teaching Somali community health workers.
From 1987 to 1990 she and her husband worked in Costa Rica developing and utilizing a youth camp and church-owned farm. They also worked with medical and evangelism teams in Honduras, Guatemala, Peru and Finland. In the summer of 1991 they helped the Navajo nation in the U.S., building and repairing churches.
From 1999 to 2001, they worked with the missionaries in Khabarovsk, a Far East region of Russia, helping in the schools, the orphanages around the city, and developing Bible study groups.
Helen was an eighth cousin to Abraham Lincoln and wrote a historical fiction novel called A Bruised Reed, a fictional account of the life of Lucy Hanks, who was the grandmother of Lincoln. Helen wrote this book based on information acquired from research about her relationship to Lincoln.
She also wrote a three-part memoir called Go If You Must about her and her husband's lives serving others on the mission field.
She called herself "A Jack of All Trades and Master of None." However, those who knew her were awed by her intellect and her skill at leatherwork and taxidermy and any craft she wished to pursue. She loved raising and showing American Saddlebred horses. She was a gardener and an active freelance writer.
Helen's life was one of devotion to God.
Her three children Pam Spaulding, of Kentuckty; Kathy Spaulding of Texas; and Greg Spaulding (Mary) of Minnesota; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren survive her. She is preceded in death by her husband and by four sisters.
A memorial service will be held at Vernon Cemetery, Indiana on May 12 at 2 p.m. Expressions of sympathy can be made in the form of kindness. Be good to one another and pay it forward.