Helen's Story

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Helen June Collins Cole was born "on the farm" in Tolono Township, south of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., on March 4, 1916, to parents Clyde C. Collins and Charlotte Reynolds Collins.
Helen attended schools along with her younger sister, Phyllis, in Tolono Township, Champaign and Rantoul. After high school and still living on the farm, she met and married Wilfred J. Cole, a soldier in the Army Air Corps posted at Chanute Field. They would live together, "on the farm" with her dad for the next three years while having their first two children, Gary and Barbara.
During WWII, her husband served overseas and afterward was re-assigned to Chanute Field where the next two children, Chip and Jim, were born.
Over the course of the next several years, she and the family went where her husband was assigned, including Pasadena, Texas.; Midwest City, Okla.; Sedalia, Mo.; Ipswich, England and Roswell, NM, but returning with her children to Champaign, Ill., while her husband was stationed in Japan and Korea.
Wilfred retired from the Air Force in 1963 with 30 year's service; both his and hers. They returned to live in Urbana, Ill., where she worked as a sales associate at Carson, Pirie, Scott for a number of years. They eventually moved to Thomasboro, Ill., their home being within five miles of the farm they had lived on when first married.
Wilfred passed away in 1998 and Helen continued to live in their home until 2007, when she moved to an apartment in Greenville, Texas, to be close to one of her sons.
Helen passed away Jan. 8, 2018, in Greenville, at the age of 101.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and sister Phyllis Stout.
She is survived by her four children, Gary Lee Cole of Naalehu, HI., Barbara Kay Schnurr (Frank) of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, Ronald Charles (Chip) Cole (Peggy) of Greenville, and James Ward Cole (Julie) of New Orleans, La. She is also survived by sister Frankie Siatta (Jack) of Crystal Lake, Ill., eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Internment will be at a later date in the Danville National Cemetery with family and friends invited to attend.
Please visit www.lynchfuneralservice.com to leave online condolences.
Published on January 10, 2018
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