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Helen Grace Bouse, 91, of Stillwater died January 28, 2015 in Perry, Oklahoma. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday January 31, 2015 at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Stillwater. At her request, the service will be followed by a family celebration in her honor with great stories and fond memories of her life well spent. Strode Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Helen was born November 30, 1923 near Cantonment to Byron and Zelpha Shepherd. As the oldest of twelve children, she developed strength, independence, determination, and resilience. All are recognizable traits apparent to anyone who knew her throughout her life.
In April of 1945, Helen married Bill Lee Rauh. He died in 1960 after a long illness, leaving her as a single parent of two small daughters. Her forty year government employment with the Soil Conservation Service in Okeene, Oklahoma provided her with stability and security at a time when single women as head of a household were uncommon.
Helen married Clarence (Peler) Bouse in 1963. He was a wonderful husband and step-father, adding laughter and joy to the family until his death in 1973. His daughter, Nancy Bouse, became a welcomed daughter and sister to the family union.
Helen promoted many events during her time in Okeene, including assisting in planning the Annual Rattlesnake Roundup, serving on the Okeene Municipal Hospital Board, establishing the Okeene Community Theatre, as well as being an active member of the Oklahoma Community Theater Association. She served as mentor and advisor to rural Oklahoma women competing for the title of Miss Oklahoma.
After moving to Stillwater in 1995, she volunteered at the Stillwater Medical Center Auxiliary, Payne County Red Cross, and Special Olympics. She served as Secretary for the Evening Kawanis Club and President of Alpha Bells Family, a community education organization where she was a delegate from Payne County at the National FCE Convention in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. She was Precinct Inspector for the Payne County Election Board, and a volunteer tax consultant for senior citizens.
She was proud of her time at the OSU Human Resources Department, where she worked until her sight failed in 2003. After being diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, she volunteered at Dean McGee Eye Institute in the Research and Development Division, participating in drug trials searching for solutions for AMD, a disease that destroys the sight of many older adults. As a result, a biotechnology company, Genentech, invited her to San Francisco, California to speak at the drug launch of Lucentis, a newly developed drug for treatment of AMD.
If you did not know Helen Bouse, you really missed something. If you did know her, then you will understand that her wishes were to be remembered as a smart, independent woman who was open-minded and outspoken. She was an event planner, pageant judge, dancer, critic, debater, advisor, huge sports fan, speaker, and a published writer.
Helen was preceded in death by two husbands she loved very much; grandson, Chad Crawford and granddaughters, Jenifer Crawford and Sandra Burnham, who meant the world to her; three brothers, Norman, Roland, and Bruce; and sister, Wilma.
She is survived by her daughters, Susie Johnston and husband, Reggie, of Edmond, Debbie Burnham and husband, Bob, of Stillwater, and Nancy Bouse of Lewes, Delaware; grandchildren Christy de la Torre, Edmond, Julie Ashford, Vian, Kamera Jones and husband, Brian, of Hobart, Emily Morgan and husband, Dustin, Russell Burnham and wife, Amber, and Natalie Burnham, all of Tulsa; nine great-grandchildren; five Shepherd brothers, Gordon, Martin, Milo, Gerald, and Warren; and two sisters, Judi Morgan and Lynda Hill; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made in Helen's name to the Stillwater Medical Center Foundation - Auxiliary Volunteer Service, PO Box 2408, Stillwater, OK 74076 or the Oklahoma State University Foundation - Athletics Department, PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076.
Condolences may be emailed to the family and an online obituary may be viewed by visiting www.strodefh.com.
This page was updated: Monday, 29-Jun-2015 11:14:24 CDT
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