Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Helen Walker


October 24, 2019

Helen Walker

Helen Walker

Helen Mae Walker, 96, crossed over peacefully holding hands with her daughter and surrounded by family on October 13, 2019.

Born May 16, 1923, to Verda and Ernest Coffee in Great Bend, Kan., the seventh, and sole survivor, of 12 children. Helen took great joy in her many nieces and nephews, who loved her generously and showed it. Living through the Dust Bowl and the Depression in the 30's, Helen was a determined survivor, also overcoming breast cancer.

A 1941 graduate of Great Bend High School, she excelled in a capella choir and economics. She moved to Tulsa, Okla., where she met her husband of 60 years, Ben Walker. She was a long distance phone operator during WWII, and a sales clerk at the Brown & Duncan Department Store. Their first daughter, Ruthann, was born in Tulsa, before they moved to Colfax, Wash., in 1949.

Helen worked at the dry cleaners in Colfax, as well as at the local pea processing plant. She was later secretary at the family business, Ben's Body Shop, for many years. Their second daughter, Linda, was born and raised in Colfax. Ruthann blessed Helen with twin grandchildren, who she doted on endlessly. Her latest passion was her great grandson, Camden, whom she was able to see graduate from Ferris High School and begin college at EWU this fall.

Helen enjoyed ceramics, golf, bowling and fishing. Since 1964, Helen and her family thrived on times at their lake home at Bunker's Resort on Williams Lake, making many lifelong friendships. After Ben's passing in 2002, she relocated to Spokane to be closer to her daughters, but still considered Colfax to be "home". She enjoyed working in her yard, classic country music, playing games with friends, and especially on her deck, visiting with neighbors. She became a favorite to all that came to know her. She was a fervent crafter, especially known for her ceramics and later, her painted birdhouses.

Helen was able to remain in her home until her passing because of the loving care provided to her by her daughter, Linda. We are all profoundly grateful for her efforts. She is survived by her daughter, Linda Walker Kayne (Richard); her granddaughter, Vonda Atkins (Craig); greatgrandson, Camden Atkins, all of Spokane; dozens of beloved nieces and nephews and many dear friends. She was preceeded in death by her husband, Ben; daughter, Ruthann Walker Dunn and her grandson, Bob Dunn Jr.

A memorial service will be held on Nov. 2, at Cascade Manufactured Home Community clubhouse, at 2 p.m., 2311 W 16th Avenue, Spokane. The family would like to thanks Hospice of Spokane for their flawless care and compassion.


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