Helena (Helen) Cantrell | Obituary

Helena (Helen) Cantrell passed away peacefully on March 18, 2021 under hospice care in her apartment at Farrington Court, assisted living facility in Kent, WA. She died of heart failure. She was 95.

Helen was born on a farm in Carson, ND and was the last survivor and the youngest of 13 children of David and Molly Klein. She had fond memories of growing up on farms in Carson, ND, and Hamilton, MT.

In 1942, Helen married James (Jim) Cantrell in Missoula, MT. He was the oldest of 12 children. They had three daughters, Myra, Carolyn and Phyllis. They were married 73 years.

Jim was a carpenter, and they were always moving between Washington state and California to find work. Helen was primarily a homemaker but did work a short time as a waitress and a few years as a meat wrapper in local grocery stores.

Helen enjoyed reading, crafts, baking and embroidery. She loved to take her baked goods all over Auburn, WA, to Dr. Steven Smith’s office, Dr. Vicki Gilthvedt’s, Auburn Chiropractic Clinic, Sandy’s Beauty Shop and Colour Connection Hair Salon. She was well known for her pies and cookies and her embroidered flour sack dish towels. Helen was very social and loved to visit with all her friends at these locations. She especially liked gossiping with Susie Nordyke for many years while getting her hair fixed. She loved to collect and try new recipes and learn about new helpful hints to make life easier. One of her favorite tips was to store fresh onions in a wide mouth glass jar and lid in the refrigerator. Try it. It works.

When Jim and Helen were young, they loved to go to dances. When they got older they enjoyed playing pinochle every day, twice a day. They were extremely competitive and hated to lose.

Helen was preceded in death by Jim and daughter, Myra Albright. She is survived by her son-in-law, Lewis Albright, daughters Carolyn Kleinbeck (Vern) Kent, WA and Phyllis Sundstrom (Jon) Auburn, WA and 10 grandchildren, 20+ great grandchildren and 10 great-great grandchildren. She is also survived by three sister-in-laws, Ann Sofield, Virginia Baptiste and Jeanette Lorentz of Concord, CA.

Helen will be buried with Jim at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. Due to COVID, there will be no service.

The family wants to thank Marcia Byrd, Executive Director, Farrington Court, and her staff for all the excellent care and kindness extended to Helen and the family.