Happy birthday to my (late) grandmother — born in the year of the last pandemic

On April 16, 1918, my grandmother, Helen Mary Wilks, was born in Springfield, Mo.

Today, on what would have been her 103rd birthday, I celebrate the lady who inspired me to travel the world (she traveled to Asia, Canada, Central America and more), appreciate the arts as a patron and actor, seamstress, could type faster than just about anyone I know, use “both sides of my brain” and never waste a crisis.

I learned much, much later that Mama Helen was a “Hidden Figure” in reference to the popular revelation of black women being human “brains” on the campus of NASA prior to and during the historic space flights. Mama Helen was such at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. It is the home to the nation’s underground city for U.S. presidents such as George Bush, Jr., who utilized it during the 9/11 attacks.

Mama Helen had style, beauty, grace, charm and intellect. What a role model, this mother of six children, grandmother of 18 and lots of great-great and great-great-great grandchildren. Her only brother was a popular dancer and he lost his life during the TB outbreak.

Happy birthday with the angels, Mama Helen!

Second from the left, Mama Helen is next to her daughter (my Mom), Angeline, to her left. To her right is Mama Helen’s mother, Edna Robinson and next to Grandma Robinson, is my oldest sister, Denise Michelle Wead Rawles. Photo was taken somewhere about 1973 in Omaha, Nebraska. Photographer unknown.
With husband, Eugene Gipson Owen, Jr., Mama Helen and Grandpa Owen are holding their firstborn and my 1-year-old mother, Angeline Cecil Owen in 1938.

Author: Our family histories

Our genealogy traces the family from western and central Africa and western Europe. Our ancestors entered the United States at the Virginia and Georgia Ports. . First cousins Mark Owen and Ann Lineve Wead (it is protocol to use the maiden names of females in genealogy searches). Although Ann has been involved in genealogy research while searching for certain ancestors since the age of 10, the cousins began deeper research of their families during the COVID-19 Pandemic Year of 2020. Devoting as much as 6 hours some evenings to the methodical training and research of genealogy, the cousins completed their year by becoming certified in the growing field of Genealogy. Join us. Sign up for our blog and enjoy the journey.

One thought on “Happy birthday to my (late) grandmother — born in the year of the last pandemic”

  1. Thanks so very much, Nieve!!! She really loved you!!

    Lovingly, Mom

    On Fri, Apr 16, 2021 at 2:10 PM Wead Write Away and Genealogy by Ann wrote:

    > Our family histories posted: ” On April 16, 1918, my grandmother, Helen > Mary Wilks, was born in Springfield, Mo. Today, on what would have been her > 103rd birthday, I celebrate the lady who inspired me to travel the world > (she traveled to Asia, Canada, Central America and more), app” >

    Like

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