Helen Marie Spradlin, 95, joined beloved family and friends in heaven’s skies on Wednesday, May 17th, 2018. Helen very much wanted to reach 100.
On October 24th, 1922 Helen was born at the homesteaded farm northeast of Cozad to loving parents Fred and Nora Danielsen. As a little girl, Helen was able to visit her Grandmother who lived in a home in the grove of trees just West of her house. Her Grandmother spoke only Swedish and Danish but the two communicated really quite well. Helen would knock at the gate, and her Grandmother would holler for her to come on in (at least that is what Helen thought she said every time).
Helen grew up knowing what hard work was and as an only child, did a lot of the outside chores while her Mother tended to the household chores, and her father farmed the land. Helen learned all the household chores, and some of the farming skills also. She always loved animals and every stray dog that would come to her own farm later in life, became part of the family. Her parents always emphasized honesty and character. Even during the depression, the dirty '30s and during World War II with ration coupons, they held God very close to their hearts and trusted in the Lord to carry and guide them through.
Helen attended a one room school and later drove into Cozad to attend high school. She drove a Model A and became the area "school bus" as she often would pick up 4 to 5 other kids. There wasn't too much fooling around after school, because there was work to be done by all. Helen had a very good friend named Wilma (everyone called her, Billie). Some weekends, what those two girls got into I would love to tell you about... .but promised I wouldn't. Helen was inducted into the National Honor Society in High School and loved bookkeeping and typing.
Saturday evenings in town was a special time for the whole family. One such Saturday, off they went to town to sell the milk, eggs, and cream. Someone asked Helen if she and a girlfriend would like to ride with him and his brother to Gothenburg for a coke-a-cola. Helen said sure and the two girls got into the car with the two boys. Later that evening, her Father could not find her and he started getting a little angry and a lot worried. Someone finally told him that they had seen Helen get into a car with that oldest Spradlin boy. Her Dad said, "Oh if it was Bernard Spradlin, then she will be O.K."
Thus started the rest of Helen's life. Bernard and Helen fell in love and just as they were getting serious, Bernard went to Ohio to work in an airplane factory for the Army as he was rejected as 4F. Neither Billie nor Helen were happy with this long
distance stuff because Billie’s fiance was also in Ohio receiving training for the service. Well, the two girls talked Bernard's brother Edwin into helping them drive cross country to Ohio to marry these two men. Off they went, the two girls and Edwin. They had many stories to share with us as the years went by after returning home to Cozad. All except Billie’s husband, Ferd. During the war, he was shot down and killed over France. Bernard and Helen were married for 63 years.
Bernard and Helen bought a little 3 room house, moved it and made a home and family. To this union 4 children were born. Eunice Spradlin, Lee Spradlin (Terry), Bobbi Laird (John) and Marsha Thomas (Larry). The house needed adding onto before too many years, and still stands and is lived in by family. Helen was a wonderful cook, baker, historian, bookkeeper and doctor. If you ever got hurt, you saw Helen as Bernard was not too good in medical emergencies. Helen belonged to a neighborhood womens club and often gave the lessons. She loved to drive a car fast and always wanted to fly in an ultra lite. She could drive trucks, stick shifts, and tractors. Also tended to some times dump the farmhand bucket the wrong way at the wrong time...left handed you know.
Left cherishing her memory are her 4 children, 7 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 3 great great grandchildren. Two other special people also call her Mom. (Tony and Kay), Many others have felt a mother’s concern and love, and they too have fond memories of "Mom!".
Welcoming Helen to God’s Celestial Heaven are her husband Bernard (2005), parents, infant brother, 3 sisters-in-law, 3 brothers-in-law, 2 nephews and many other relatives and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Cozad Christian Church (821 F Street) on Friday May 25th at 2:00p.m. (As cremation was chosen there will be no graveside services.