Helen M. Bright

Helen M. Bright

Helen M. Bright, formerly of Lucas, passed away on Monday, March 14, 2022.  Helen was born on August 4, 1924, to Elder “Harry” and Rosa B. (Smith) Hawkins.  Helen was the youngest of Harry and Rosa’s three children and grew up in a rural area in Holmes County.  Helen would reminisce about her school days when she had to walk to the one room school house in the country and that the “playground” consisted of grapevines hanging from the trees.  During third grade she was glad to ride a school bus to Tiverton Center instead of walking, even though the route was long, twisty, and very bumpy.  High School years were at Warsaw High School where she said she “felt like she was in heaven because the building had indoor plumbing.”  Helen was voted school queen her senior year which made some of the girls upset since “an outsider from Tiverton Center” had won the vote instead of a Warsaw girl.  Drama even in the ‘40s!  After graduation Helen worked in a factory in Mt. Vernon making garments for WWII soldiers.  During that employment, she was voted Army/Navy Queen and invited to luncheon with the governor, John Bricker, and his wife.  The country girl had never seen shrimp before and was not interested in trying it, so allowed First Lady Bricker to enjoy it instead.


In 1957, Helen married John L. Bright and they made their home in Lucas.  Both hard workers, they planted a garden and Helen canned many quarts of beans, tomatoes, vegetable soup and peaches.  As an adult, Ramona confessed that during her high school days she and girlfriends would sneak Christmas cookies from their hiding place much to Helen’s surprise.  Neighborhood children were always welcome at her house where she could “keep an eye on everyone and give Crystal playmates.”  To supplement the family income, Helen babysat for many families-sometimes just an evening, sometimes a week at a time.  Helen’s nurturing spirit was evident in her jobs as babysitter, caregiver, volunteer with Girl Scouts, Mothers Club, and Newhope School or simply giving a friend a ride to a doctor appointment.  Helen worked as Precinct Judge in Monroe Township for the Richland County Board of Elections for over two decades.  But the best witness to her nurturing spirit was the care and devotion to her youngest daughter, Crystal, as they worked through the obstacles that an individual with special needs faces.  Crystal lived with her mother until health issues necessitated Crystal’s need for more professional assistance.


Thanking God for a wonderful mother are her daughters, Ramona Harris of Florida, Claudia (Mike) Snyder of Lexington, and Crystal of Mansfield; grandchildren, Christine (Brian) Kelly, Jennifer (Bernard) Carter, Emily Harris, Adam (Katie) Spellman, and Chantal (Christopher) Ferger; and eleven great-grandchildren.


Helen thanked God for treasured friends, Susan Connor, Gary Lucas, Miriam Penney, and Betty and Dan Woodland who helped brighten her days and make her feel loved.  Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, John; brother, Glen; sister, Treva; and good friends, Bernice Riggs and Virginia McCammon.


Family and friends may visit from 4:00-6:00 pm on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at the Diamond Street Home of Wappner Funeral Directors, 98 S. Diamond Street.  Pastor Dallas Waggle will officiate the funeral service on Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 10:00 am at the funeral home.  Helen will be laid to rest in Oak Grove Memorial Park.  Memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association or the Raintree.

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