Helen (Rice) Hawkins

Born: Sun., Nov. 18, 1923
Died: Thu., Feb. 5, 2015

Memorial Service

2:00 PM Sat., Feb. 14, 2015
Location: Peace Lutheran Church


3:30 PM Sat., Feb. 14, 2015
Location: Roy Raley Room (At The Round-Up Grounds)

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Helen Rice Hawkins passed peacefully at her home on February 5, 2015. She was 91. Helen was the daughter of Rob Roy Rice and Leila Norvell Rice of Prescott, Arizona. After her father’s death in 1926, she and her mother moved to Helix to live with her grandparents.  Helen attended Pendleton High School and graduated in 1941.  

Helen attended Oregon State College and graduated in 1945 with a degree in home economics. She was a member and president of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority a member of Phi Kappa Phi and of the home economics honorary, Omicron Nu.

At the end of World War II, Helen married Don Hawkins. Together, they farmed and reared a family on a wheat ranch north of Pendleton. Helen and Don built a wonderful family home, which had ample room for them and their six children. Their farm was designated a Century Farm in 2000.

Helen loved Don, her large family, her home, collecting antiques and the color red. Her memorial service will appropriately be on Valentine’s Day. Helen also had a special fondness for the many dogs, cats and other pets the family has cared for over the years.

Helen and her family were active members of the Peace Lutheran Church in Pendleton. She was also a committed participant in PEO, the Delphian Club, TAT and the Sew What’s, her sewing group. She and Don also belonged to Killkare. These groups gave Helen the opportunity to engage in her favorite activities of sewing, stitching and socializing with longtime friends and their families. Helen used her extraordinary design and decoration skills as a volunteer as well. She was instrumental in the design and remodel of the Little Vert Auditorium, the Pendleton Peace Lutheran Church, the Umatilla County Historical Society and the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. Helen also devoted many hours to coordinating displays at the Umatilla County Historical Society.

The experience of rearing five daughters made Helen a natural for the role of chaperone of the Pendleton Round-Up Court. During her four years as chaperone, Helen loved her interaction with the court members and established some cherished long-term relationships.  

Her interest in antiques and decorating was legend within her family and social circle. Helen also loved to travel and always returned home with interesting stories and carefully chosen additions to her antique collections. Then she learned woodcarving. Everyone in the family has a few of Helen’s beautifully carved and hand-painted creations.

Helen’s family includes her six children and their spouses: Sherri Leisinger (Andy); Julie Carter (Jim); Tim Hawkins (Jennifer); Candace Wheeler (Frank); Pam Hawkins (Mike Barker - deceased); Becca Zollman (Garry), and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To Helen’s delight, much of this family always gathered with Helen and Don on the ranch for Christmas and other important family days.

Memorial services will be held at the Pendleton Peace Lutheran Church on this coming Saturday, February 14, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow at 3:30 p.m. at the Roy Raley Room at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds.

The family encourages contributions to PAWS (animal care and adoption) or Umatilla County Historical Society or other charity of choice in Helen’s name

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eleventh hour warrior
   Posted Wed February 11, 2015
So sorry for your loss. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Bonnie Greiner
   Posted Fri February 27, 2015
For the family of Helen. I met Helen through my business which included decorating and art etc. She was such a delight. She invited me to her home which I immediately starting calling decorating magazines to do features on her and her talents. She had many and shared them with so many. She impressed me with her devotion to her family her community and her love of beauty, her home definitely defined her. Enjoyed her wonderful husband Don also. I will never forget her.

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