Helen Sanford Allen, daughter of Gary and Annie Sanford, was born on February 20, 1925, in Caledonia, Texas and went to be with the Lord on July 24, 2019 in Lufkin, Texas. Helen’s faith and commitment to Christ was the driving force behind her passion to love and serve her friends and family. She was a devoted member of First United Methodist in Jasper, Texas for 68 years, where she served as a teacher of the Seeker’s Sunday School Class, a member of United Methodist Women and numerous boards and committees.
Helen graduated from Timpson High School in 1943 and was a 1948 graduate of the University of Texas in Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Helen married Arle Kenneth Allen in 1950 and they were blessed with four children: Ann, George, Elizabeth and Becky.
Helen and Arle owned and operated Allen’s Variety Store in Jasper from 1952 to 1969. Helen combined her experience as a merchant’s wife with her prior experience of being a business teacher and became the first Distributive Education teacher at Jasper High School. Helen took great pride in her teaching career which spanned from 1966 to 1989. Her students were very special to her and remained in touch with her through the years.
During her 94 years, Helen embodied and made ‘love’ her mantra. She deeply loved her brother, two sisters and cherished her mother and father. As a high school teacher, she encouraged and invested in her students , as a wife she loved her husband fiercely and loyally for 49 years, as a mother she unconditionally supported and selflessly loved each of her four children, as a grandmother she deeply cared about the lives of her 9 grandchildren and she took great delight in her 13 great grandchildren. For the past 7 years, Helen made PineCrest Retirement Community her home. She developed a host of special friends that she deeply treasured. Helen was a light to all who knew her and embodied 1 Corinthians 16:14, which says, “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Helen’s life will be cherished by many and her legacy will live on in the lives of her family, including her children: Ann and Mark Hafernick of Diboll, Texas, George and Carole Allen of Nicholasville, Kentucky, Elizabeth and George Bridges of Sugarland, Texas, and Becky Strahan of Garland, Texas; grandchildren: Lauren and Judd Johnston of Colleyville, Texas, Brian and Angela Hafernick of Lufkin, Texas, Philip and Noelle Allen of Decatur, Georgia, Julie and Brett Crull of Winfield, Illinois, Gary and Kelli Bridges of Paris, France, John and Kimberly Bridges of Birmingham, Alabama, Lisa Bridges of Houston, Texas, Sarah and Tom Leibowitz of Plano, Texas and Mark Strahan of Fort Worth, Texas; great grandchildren Cooper & Carter Johnston, Gibson & Annie Hafernick, John Allen, Caroline, Teresa, Simon & Toby Crull, Lilli, Charlotte & Garland Bridges, Oliver Bridges, niece Mary Lou and Dave Breshears of Tucson, Arizona and their two sons Elliot and Jeffrey and nephew Robert and Stacy Keeble of Kerrville, Texas. She is preceded in death by her husband, Arle Allen and sisters, Betsy Keeble and Alice McKinney and brother, Charlie Sanford.
Celebration services will take place at 1:30 pm on Thursday, August 1 at PineCrest Retirement Community Chapel in Lufkin, Texas followed by a reception in the auditorium and at 11:00 am on Friday, August 2 at First United Methodist Church in Jasper, Texas followed by a reception in Ealand Hall. Her private family burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to First United Methodist Church in Jasper, Texas.