McCOOK, Nebraska -- Helen Louise (Hartman) McNew was born on Dec. 30, 1913, on her parents' farm southeast of Stratton, Nebraska. Helen died at the McCook Community Hospital at the young age of 97, on April 28, 2011.
Helen was the oldest of 11 children born to William (Claude) and Louise (Price) Hartman. She attended McCabe rural school from kindergarten to the eighth grade and then attended Stratton High School where she graduated in 1930. After high school, Helen attended Kearney Teachers College receiving her teacher's certificate and then taught in rural schools in Hitchcock and Dundy counties.
On June 7, 1937, Helen married Roman (Mac) Chester McNew in Hill City, Kansas. Shortly after they were married, Mac was drafted for World War II and stationed in Germany. Mac and Helen have lived in McCook since their wedding and to their union two daughters were born Cheri Lee Sahm and RanDee Lynn Barger.
Helen was a mother and homemaker. She served as her daughters' Brownie and Girl Scout Leader for many years. Helen was an avid quilter, seamstress, cook, gardener and grandma. She enjoyed making clothes for her children, grandchildren, and Barbie doll clothes for her granddaughters. Each member of Helen's family has received a unique hand-made quilt. She had a beautiful rose garden that was the envy of all the neighbors and family. Her families' favorite dishes were vegetable beef soup, butterscotch pie, homemade noodles and most fought over her iced sugar cookies. Grandma's was a favorite sleepover site You got to fight over who got to sleep on the cot in the living room and everyone got cookies and milk before bed.
Helen enjoyed going to her grandchildren's activities including sitting out at the county fair no matter what the weather was like, watching countless calf shows and fashion revues. Helen continued her teaching with her grandchildren, teaching them how to dress chickens, make homemade noodles, knit, crochet, canning, and sewing.
Helen was a lifetime member of The United Methodist Church in Stratton and McCook.
She was a charter member of the Methodist Quilters -- serving as treasurer and historian. After the passing of her husband in 1985, Helen found a love for genealogy. She became a charter member of the Southwest Nebraska Genealogical Society -- serving as vice-president, treasurer and historian. Helen traced her own family back to England in 1592. She was also a member of the Hitchcock County Historical Society.
Helen treasured her independence, she lived in her own home and still drove herself around town up until her death. She wrote several books that she shared with her family: "Growing up on a Farm," "McNew-Roman Family History," "Hartman-Meguire Family History," "McNew-Hartman Geneology" and "We're in the Army Now -- R.C McNew's World War II Service."
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers, John, Ivan, Buryl, Pete and Robert Hartman; sisters, Laurene Riley and Patricia Jennings.
She is survived by her two daughters, Cheri and husband, Fred Sahm of Omaha, Nebraska and RanDee and husband, Bill Barger of Culbertson, Nebraska; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Betty Wendell of Garden City, Idaho, Doris Hook of Independence, Missouri, and Arda Hartman of Bethany, Missouri; along with two nieces, many great-nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made in Helen's name.
Funeral services are Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 2 p.m., at the Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook, with the Rev. Lance Clay officiating. Burial is in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation is Monday from 1-8 p.m. at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home.
Friends may sign her book at the funeral home or send condolences online at www.carpenterbreland.com.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.