Helen Adair

Obituary of Helen Eva Adair

Helen Adair was born at home on February 26, 1933 in North Fowler, Colorado to Otto Lewis and Vera Josephine Pfeiff.  She was one of ten children including Calvin, Wilmina, Emma, Otto, Dick, Bob, Danny, Claude and Kay.   After the loss of her mother at the age of eleven, Helen helped her father by caring for the younger children and working summers as a maid.   At the age of seventeen, Helen married Dale Adair who had just returned from Korea.   The two lived in multiple locations throughout Colorado, eventually settling in Rocky Ford where they raised their two children, Franklin (Frank) and Susan (Sue Shumate). 

Helen worked outside the home, which was a rarity for the time.  Her first job, after marriage, was in the lunchroom at Rocky Ford High School.  She loved the work and the RFHS students. She then worked for Stop-n-Go and finally 7-Eleven where she became the store manager.  She was well known for serving up Icee’s and pulling money from her own pocket to help others when they were short on cash.  When no one else would volunteer, she also became the leader of Weblos Scouts for several years.  Having no previous experience with scouting, she jumped in and successfully led the 7-10 year old boys as they learned about character, citizenship, personal fitness and leadership.

Her son, Frank, married Sandy (Estes/Brill) and together they had 3 children, Robert, Ryan and Rachel.  Grandchildren were her greatest joy and she loved spending time with them.  Favorite memories include playing outdoors or giving them shopping excursions where they each got a small bag and had the luxury of selecting favorite treats that were funded by “New Store,” their nickname for her.  In 1989 she relocated to Burke, Virginia to care for her premature grandson, Nick Shumate, who she helped to raise and who, in adulthood, became her closest ally.  Just the mention of his name would bring a smile to her face. In addition to caring for Nick, she worked for K-Mart, took up water aerobics and connected with a group of friends for morning gatherings at McDonalds.   She moved in with her daughter in 2016 and remained with her until her passing on 22 February 2022.

Helen, nicknamed “Nan” by her family and friends, will always be remembered as a loving mother and grandmother, caring friend, hard worker and a crochet “genius”.  Her beautiful doilies, tablecloths, children’s hats, blankets and dresses are now treasured heirlooms.   In her later years, she prided herself in coloring pictures that were given to the children of Franklin Elementary school in Belleville, IL.

Helen is preceded in death by her parents, husband, son and her nine siblings. She is survived by her daughter Sue (fiancé John Catoe), grandchildren, Robert (wife Kathleen and daughters Caira and Madeline), Ryan (husband Jeremy), Rachel (husband Eric and daughter Lottie) and Nick (fiancé Suzan Ok).

The Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on March 12, 2022 at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204, www.uucava.org.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Franklin Elementary School, Attn: Principal Kelly Harter, Helen Adair Memorial Fund, 301 N. 2nd Street, Belleville, IL 62220

A Memorial Tree was planted for Helen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Direct Cremation Svcs of VA - Chantilly
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