Obituaries: Helen Skiles(1921-2007)


Helen Skiles died June 30, 2007, in Crescent City.

She was born June 24, 1921, at Fort Bragg and grew up in a home that rested on skids so it could be pulled onto train beds and moved from lumber camp to lumber camp. She graduated from high school in Fort Bragg.

She cut a 33 1/3 record while she was in high school, a record her children listened to frequently until it was lost during the flood of 1953 in Terwer Valley. She continued singing publicly as her children grew.

She moved to Klamath Glen after marrying her husband, Jay Skiles, and had four of her five children while living there.

She loved to cook, and worked at the Bee Hive Cafe in Klamath. One of her best recipes was her lemon pie. She also made blackberry pies and jams.

Her business career took off when she and her husband moved their family to Crescent City. She worked for Seaside Hospital from 1955 until 1985, when she retired. She began as a switchboard operator and worked her way up to administrative positions.

She was a charter member of the American Business Women's Association, and also belonged to the Emblem Club, Del Norte Senior Center Nutrition Site Council, TOPS, Widowed Person Del Norte Chapter, and volunteered at Del Norte Senior Center.

She suffered a decline in her health in 2006, and needed daily care to sustain the quality of the life she led before her illness.

Her children survive her, Ruth Skiles Alexander, Martha Skiles, Paul Skiles, Dona Skiles Weis and Deborah Skiles Smith.

She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Saturday. Inurnment will take place at Rose Memorial Park in Fort Bragg.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wier's Mortuary Chapel.

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