Helen Edith (Reno) Beckwith was born on March 14, 1936, to Neil and Nioma (Stacy) Reno of Powell, Wyoming. She attended school in Powell and graduated from Powell High School in 1954. She then attended Northwest Community College in Powell for two quarters before leaving and moving to Casper, Wyoming where she was employed by the Wyoming State Employment Service.
Helen married Leroy Owen Beckwith of Basin, Wyoming on October 30, 1955 at the First Presbyterian Church in Powell at the age of 19. After a brief honeymoon they traveled to the U.S. Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois. There, Helen was employed as a clerk stenographer for the Medical/Dental Service. Their first child, Tina Louise, was born on August 6, 1956 at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois. Their second child, Jody Ellen, was born on March 19, 1959 at Pepperell Air Force Base in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Helen worked there as a clerk stenographer for the Inspector General Department. Their third child, Jeffrey Owen, was born on July 31, 1962 at the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Helen was a devoted mother to her children, teaching them good Christian values and concepts as they grew. She was also a good wife to her husband, following him in his Naval career for 21 years.
Helen’s next employment came when they moved to the Naval Air Station in Fallon, Nevada. She worked in the Special Services Department for six hours a day, thereby being able to get children off to school in the mornings and being home when they got there in the afternoons. Leroy retired from the U.S. Navy in May 1975. The family then moved to Sheridan, Wyoming where they bought a home and continued raising their children.
Helen worked at the Sheridan Agri-Center in Sheridan as a bookkeeper for two years before changing jobs and working for the County Grantsman for another year. During this time Helen was afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis and was finally unable to continue working.
Still, Helen accompanied her husband, Leroy, as they worked for the Mobile Missionary Assistance Program; working at Evangelical churches, retreat centers and camps across the United States, commencing in October 1986 until June 1996. During Helen’s travels with the MMAP organization, she procured a craft – making all occasion greeting cards from cloth. She soon became known as “the card lady.” Even when she was in the Bonnie Bluejacket Memorial Nursing Home she continued making her special cards and many people came to know her in a special way.
Helen is survived by her husband, Leroy; their three children, Tina (Beckwith) Rowan, Jody (Beckwith) Hoebelheinrich and Jeffrey Beckwith; one brother, Kenneth Reno of Scottsdale, Arizona; two sisters, Marge Scholz of Littleton, Colorado and Doris Mehl of Fort Collins, Colorado; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren, plus many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Viewings will be held at the Atwood Family Chapel in Basin, Wyoming on Thursday, July 12, 2012 and Friday, July 13, 2012 both from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Basin, Wyoming on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Kent Dempsey officiating. Burial will follow at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin. Immediately following the burial a luncheon for family and friends will be held at the First Baptist Church gymnasium.
Persons desiring to send donations may do so to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at 400 East First Street, Casper, WY 82601-2558.
Helen was a member of the First Baptist Church of Basin, Wyoming. Helen desires that all persons strive to know her personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Atwood Family Funeral Directors, Inc. is in charge of arrangements.