Helen was born February 4, 1920 in Anthony, KS to race horse family Ben and Ida (Walden) Armstrong. She joined a family of 10 brothers and sisters: Agnes, Lou, Orval, Della, Ruth, Eva, Everett, Ralph, Callie, and Sid. Two years later little sister Edi joined the family to make an even dozen. Helen attended school in Anthony.
Helen married Leslie (Dutch) Cantrell July 17, 1939 and they lived most of their married life in the Corwin community. She embraced Dutch’s family as her own and loved them dearly. Born to this union were Sandy, LeAnn, and Dick. She took lots of pride in her children and others. She loved having kids around and her grandchildren held a special place in her heart. Helen spent most of her life as a mother and farm wife. She worked for the Kimmell Vet Clinic as an assistant and bookkeeper for 15 years. She was a member of the Corwin Presbyterian Church before joining the Anthony Christian Church. Through the years she was active in Dorcas Group, C.W.F., Over-the-Hill , in 4-H as a photography leader, coached softball at Midway, taught swimming, and was treasurer for Friendship Meals. Their house was a gathering place for family and friends where the coffee pot was always on and a deck of cards always out. The grandkids and neighborhood children enjoyed playing at their house, often spending the night. Family and friends looked forward to Helen and Dutch's annual fall weenie roast, a tradition that carried on for many years and was eventually taken over by lifelong friends Phillip and Marcella Patterson. These two couples created many special memories and often traveled together.
After Dutch died September 29, 1981, Helen moved to Anthony. She enjoyed having company, and always had a welcoming smile on her face when one walked in. Helen started her day working her crossword puzzle and ended it by writing in her diary. She was an avid reader and loved watching baseball. Her favorite team was the Atlanta Braves. Helen was also a very thoughtful and caring person who enjoyed sending cards to everyone on special occasions. She always looked forward to a game of cards with family and friends and loved her Friday Canasta game with the ladies.
Helen passed away on July 18, 2012 at the Anthony Medical Center at the age of 92 years, 5 months, and 14 days. She will be deeply missed by her children: Sandra and Frank Lander of Mulvane, LeAnn and Ivan Koblitz of Hazelton, Dick and Shirley Cantrell of Grove, OK; sister Edith Whitney of Moreland OK; brother-in-law, Carlos Cantrell of Amarillo, TX; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Darrell and Velma Miller of Manchester, OK; sister-in-law, Juanita Armstrong of Anthony; 7 grandchildren: Debbie Hansard, Bob (Dena) Koblitz, Wade (Terrie) Lander, Jeff (Jona) Cantrell, Justin (Shelly) Koblitz, John Logan Cantrell, and Andra (Brandon) Tidwell; 14 great grandchildren: Aaron Lyon, Amber Kirk, Blake Koblitz, Kelsey Koblitz, Rylee Lander, Morgan Koblitz, Courtlynn Lander, Paige Koblitz, Blay Cantrell, Joslyn Cantrell, Logan Leatherwood, Jarrett Koblitz, Skylar Leatherwood, and Cole Cantrell; 3 great-great grandchildren: Austin, Krystal and Karen; a very special friend, Frances Walker of Anthony; and a host of other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the Anthony Christian Church with Pastor John Schnelle officiating.
Burial will be in Waldron Cemetery, Waldron, Kansas.
Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Friday at Prairie Rose in Anthony.
Memorials in memory of Helen may be made to Anthony Senior Citizens or to the Anthony Christian Church and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Homes, Inc., 602 E. Main St. ~ Anthony, KS 67003, is in charge of arrangements.