Feb. 26, 1909-March 10, 2005
BENKELMAN -- Helen Walsh Preston, 96, died Thursday (March 10, 2005) at the Sarah Ann Hester Memorial Home in Benkelman.
She was born Feb. 26, 1909, on the family farm five miles north of Doane. She was the youngest of six children born to Jeremiah and Eleanor (Hudson) Walsh. She attended District 36 country school through the eighth grade. She graduated in 1926 from Benkelman High School. After graduating from high school, she taught in country schools for four years before deciding to attend the University of Nebraska to pursue a degree in education.
She married Leon Preston her third year into college and became a homemaker. In 1934, Leon took over management of the Doane filling station and the newlyweds moved into the living quarters in the rear of the station building. In 1941, Helen and her family moved to Denver, Colo., where Leon was employed making ammunition in support of the war effort. In the spring of 1943 they moved to Washington where Leon worked for the company that was developing the atomic bomb. By mid 1944, the project was winding down and the family returned to Denver where Leon worked for the next several years as a carpenter. In 1949 the family moved back to the Walsh family farm north of Doane. The couple lived there for 29 years. In 1978, the couple retired from the farm and built a home on the west end of Benkelman.
She was a lifetime member of Holly Chapter No. 233 of Benkelman.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jeremiah and Eleanor Walsh; her husband, Leon; two brothers; three sisters; and an infant great-great-grandson, Jerry Ramsey.
Survivors include her son, Jerry Preston and wife, Josephine of Benkelman; son William Preston of Camarillo, Calif.; six grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services are Saturday at 10:30 a.m. (MST), in Forch Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Brian Fong officiating. Interment will follow services at the Benkelman Cemetery.
Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman is in charge of arrangements.