Helbert, Eloise Bird

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Eloise Martin Bird Helbert, 89, of Radford, passed away on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at her home. Eloise was preceded in death by her husband, William Berryman Helbert, Jr. and her parents, Claude and Emma Bird.

She is survived by her daughters, Ramona H. Byrne (Mark) of Genoa, Nev., Susan S. Helbert of Radford, and Claudia J. Helbert of San Leandro, Calif; her brother, Jack, and sister-in law, Margaret Bird; her cousin/brother, Bill Bricker (Lou Ellen); cousin Jerry Allen Simpkins (Linda); cousin Lillie DeHart; and a number of cousins, nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her beloved cat, Joey.

Eloise graduated from Radford High School, attended business school at Radford Teachers College and worked at a variety of secretarial and personnel jobs before marrying “Wild” Bill Helbert. They met at RAAP after World War II and married after a deepening friendship developed into something more. Like so many women of her generation, she committed herself to the role of wife and mother, believing that raising children was the most important role that any individual could have. She made certain that her daughters’ friends were always made welcome and through the years, Eloise dispensed much wisdom, love and fine food from her kitchen table. After her daughters graduated from high school, at her husband’s urging, she accepted an appointment to the Radford City School Board and worked diligently to improve the academic standards of the Radford City school system and later worked as a tax preparer.

Eloise loved her husband, her children, her extended family, flowers, animals, murder mysteries, Virginia Tech football and warm weather – not necessarily in that order. Sadly, mere words can never capture this extraordinary woman’s character and her intangible but far reaching influence upon the many people whose lives she touched.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to Dr. Charles Judy, the nurses, aides, and staff of Intrepid Health and Hospice and deepest appreciation also to Carolyn Franklin-Teele, a close family friend.In lieu of flowers of flowers, donations in her name to Alzheimer’s Disease Research 22512 Gateway Center Drive, Clarksburg, MD 20871 or the Alzheimer’s Association, Central and Western Chapter 1160 Pepsi Place, Suite 306, Charlottesville, VA 22901 would be appreciated.

Funeral services for Eloise will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday December 16, 2015 at St. Jude’s Catholic Church, 1740 Tyler Road, Christiansburg, VA. The family will greet friends at 10 a.m. before the funeral at the church. The interment will follow at Hickman Cemetery on Hickman Cemetery Road, in Pulaski County, VA.

The Helbert family is in the care of DeVilbiss Funeral Home in Radford, VA.