Helen French Martin, 92, died peacefully March 24, 2017, at home in her apartment at Brookdale Mountain Laurel assisted living facility in Glastonbury, Conn., after a brief struggle with cancer. She recently moved to Connecticut to be closer to family.
Helen was born Aug. 21, 1924, in Kingman, Ind., to Vern Edward French and Ruth Elizabeth (Rodgers) French.
Her fondest childhood memories included riding in "the huckster wagon" with her father, delivering food staples and home goods to rural customers, and sacking hard candy in the family grocery store for Christmas gifts. Helen graduated from Veedersburg (Ind.) High School and Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in Home Economics and in the early years of her married life, worked as Purdue's extension agent in Fountain County, Indiana. She was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority at Purdue.
On a return trip to West Lafayette with her father, Helen met the love of her life, John Marion Martin, who was hitchhiking with a family friend. This was a particularly favorite family story.
Helen and John were married Oct. 6, 1944, and moved to Danville in 1957. Together, in over 50 years of marriage, they built a life centered on faith, family and friends. As a stay-at-home mother of two boys, she was instrumental in their success in scholarship, Scouting, music and athletics.
Helen also enjoyed her own passions including singing in Sweet Adelines, bridge clubs and the Co-Ed class and Christian Women's Fellowship at Central Christian Church. Later in life, there was nothing Helen enjoyed more than a good crossword puzzle, a good romance novel or a good bridge game.
She is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, whom she loved dearly, John Alan Martin and Vicki (Cozatt) Martin of Fountain Hills, Ariz., and Daniel Lee Martin and Lorie (Thomas) Martin of Glastonbury, Conn., all graduates of Danville High School; also, four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Her parents, husband and younger brother, Donald Ray French, preceded her in death.
There will be a visitation 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, at Sunset Funeral Home, 3940 N. Vermilion St. Memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Friday, March 31, at Central Christian Church, 1101 N. Vermilion St., Danville, with Pastor Robert Arnold officiating. Private burial services will follow at Rockfield Cemetery in Veedersburg, Ind.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to Central Christian Church Foundation, 1101 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL 61832 or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, https://donate.lls.org/lls/donate. Please join Helen's family in sharing photos and memories on her Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com
Published on March 27, 2017