June 24, 1915 – September 20, 2011
Helen was born on a farm in Lawton, Kansas. She attended a two room schoolhouse to which she later returned as a teacher. She had fond memories of starting a fire in the potbellied stove every morning to heat the small building.
She attended high school in Columbus, Kansas, where her father would bring she and her three sisters every week in a horse drawn buggy to stay with an aunt.
She was married in 1937, still in the shadow of the Great Depression. She met Glenn Stevenson “Steve” in college at Pittsburg, Kansas. They moved to Ohio, Glenn’s home, and then back to Kansas City, Kansas where she taught for over forty years. Glenn passed away in 1967. She often said her fondest memories in life were being married and raising three wonderful daughters.
Independent and determined, she crafted a wonderful life for the next forty-four years. She was an artist and writer. She studied her family name, Merrick, for years and traced the lineage back to the time of Christ. She traveled to Wales and visited the Merrick estate and family. She wrote a fiction novel for middle-schoolers about a family on the Mayflower. Many of the characters were actually relatives she had researched.
Ballroom dancing became a passion in her life, beginning in Kansas City and continuing in Colorado Springs. She danced for over twenty years and was quite accomplished. Her love of music and flair for style made her a beautiful picture on the floor.
Her gift for helping others, her love of church, her love of family and her dancing and style made her a very special woman.
Helen is survived by her children: Sheryl Lee Blasco, Sheila Ann Ragan, Glenda Lynne Bruce; her grandchildren: Steve Blasco, Shannon Bruce, Patrick Bruce, Kyle Ragan, Blair Ragan, Todd Ragan; and 7 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, James Elias York and Harriett Ann Merrick York; her husband, Glenn Lyle Stevenson; and her sisters: Edna Sullivan, Arlene Goodrich, and Maxine Betz.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 3, 2011 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 701 North 20th Street. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.