Funeral services for Helen Louisa Woodward Sanderford, of Temple, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home in Temple, followed by burial at Killeen City Cemetery in Killeen.
Mrs. Sanderford was born June 27, 1925, on a farm located about three miles north of Jarrell. Helen was the fifth of 12 children of Lola (Allen) and Alma Woodward. She lived on the farm and attended Jarrell High School until 1941, when her family sold their ancestral home and moved to a farm closer to Killeen.
Shortly thereafter, Fort Hood was established and the farm was taken as part of this project. Helen continued high school in Killeen in order to graduate with her class.
Two months after graduation, she married her classmate, Maxwell Sanderford, Jr. They married July 18, 1942, in the parsonage of 7th Street United Methodist Church, now Oak Park UMC. Less than a year after their marriage, Max was inducted into the U.S. Army. After several months of training, he was sent to fight in the European Theatre after D-Day. He served honorably until the end of the war.
On Max’s return, he enrolled at “The University” in Austin. While Max earned his business degree, Helen paid the bills with her “Putting Hubby Through” degree while working at the Texas Employment Commission. They were lifetime fans of the Longhorns.
Max took a management position with Sears Roebuck (as it was known then) in Houston. Helen also started working for Sears. After 10 years in Houston, Max was transferred to Shreveport and Helen to the Bossier City Sears store. They lived in and enjoyed Shreveport for three years.
They came back to Texas, with Max beginning what would be a 25-plus-year career with General Dynamics, and Helen soon leaving Sears to form and manage a children’s clothing store called Play-Mates. Her talents as a business manager were evident as the store prospered and Helen prospered. Helen operated the store continuously for 14 years.
In 1989, Max retired and he and Helen moved to Highland Haven on beautiful Lake LBJ near Marble Falls where they spent 7 great years until health issues persuaded them to move to Temple, where they spent the rest of their lives.
Beginning in 1957, Helen became a fixture and leader in the Order of the Eastern Star for more than 63 years. She served in many offices and committee appointments, including Worthy Matron (3 times), Deputy Grand Matron (2 times), grand Representative of West Virginia, and Grand Martha.
Helen was a member of Oak Park United Methodist Church and Susannah Wesley Sunday School class, where she was affectionately known as “Baloney,” we think for an opinion she once expressed.
Helen loved playing bridge and participated in the Sammons Senior Group for more than 20 years. She always expressed love and thanks to partners Poncho, Wanda, Cheryl, and Mary, and certainly including long-time partner Sister Patsy. Patsy probably has a table waiting with a seat for Helen at this time.
Special love and gratitude to my good and special friend, Sandra Mikesell, who has helped me in so many ways and took me to many places I could not otherwise go.
Helen is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Max; son, Robert; infant son who died after birth; sisters, Juanita, Arleigh, Mary, Patsy, Nellie, and Peggy; brothers, Woody, Ken, Jim, and Joe; and grandson Stephen.
Helen is survived by her sons; David, and wife Chelia; Bill, and wife Lee; sister, Sarah James; grandson Dylan and granddaughter Mollie; great-granddaughters Lindsay and Meri, and great-grandson Jason.
Love and affection is also expressed to her five great-great-grandchildren, and the many nieces, nephews, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of her treasured friends whose path she crossed.
Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday at Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home, 3220 S. 31st St. in Temple, which is also in charge of arrangements.