Helen Gunnels-Kieper passed away on Friday, September 20th, 2013 at Angelo Community Hospital. Helen was born August 30th, 1914, to Charles S. and Clara Sampson Reese, on the family farm near Searcy, Arkansas.
The family moved to Wichita, Kansas, where Helen attended schools through the first year of High School. Later, the family relocated to San Antonio where she graduated from the new Thomas Jefferson High School in 1932. She later attended San Antonio Junior College and Wichita University in Wichita, Kansas, completing additional specialized courses at the Wichita Business and Professional College.
In 1936 she was appointed to a position with the Internal Revenue Service in Wichita, and in 1941 received a Civil Service appointment to the U.S. Soil Conservation Service in Chandler, Oklahoma, subsequently transferring to their headquarters in Fort Worth, Tx. In 1943 she returned to the Internal Revenue Service in Dallas, and remained with that agency until 1953. In June 1948 she married James D. Gunnels of McCamey, TX, and their daughter, Linda Louise, was born in Dallas, in October 1949.
In 1954 she returned to Civil Service at Warner Robbins AFB, in Georgia, and over the next several years was employed at Air Force bases in Camarillo and Fairfield, California. The family was sent by the U.S. Air Force to an assignment in South America in 1964 for service with the Air Force Mission in Montevideo, Uruguay. Upon their return to the United States, they were first stationed at Wichita Falls, Tx, then went back to Travis AFB in California, where Helen retired from Federal Civil Service in June 1974. In August 1987, they moved to San Angelo, Tx., to live near their daughter Linda, and son-in-law David, and grandchildren Bradley and Robbie.
Over the years Helen was very active in several organizations, the Business and Professional Women and the Toastmistress Clubs in California, the American Women's Club in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Chico Women's Club of Chico, California, the Newtimers Club and the DOES Auxiliary of the San Angelo Elks Lodge. Her husband Jim passed away in 1989.
In May 1991, Helen was married to Howard F. Kieper who passed away in Sepember 2011. She is survived by her daughter, Linda Gunnels Griffin and son-in-law David A. Griffin; two grandsons, Bradley D. Griffin, his wife Kristen and great grandchildren Madison and Zachary of Colorado Springs, Co., and Robert (Robbie) Griffin, wife Michelle, and great grandchildren, Lydia and Alex, of Endicott, NY.
Public visitation will be held at Johnson's Funeral Home from 1 to 7 PM on Wednesday, September 25. A private funeral service will follow on Friday.
The family gives special thanks to Sagecrest Alzheimer's Care Center, Dr. Peter Chang, MD and San Angelo Community Hospital for their exceptional care and kidness.
Family and friends may sign the online register book at www.johnsons-funeralhome.com