Helen Marie McCollum, age 90, died on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, in Boise, Idaho. Services will be held at 10:00 am Friday, February 21, 2020, at Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Avenue South in Nampa. Burial will follow at the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell. The family will greet loved ones and friends at the funeral home for a viewing and visitation on Thursday evening from 6 – 7 P.M. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
Helen was born on January 27, 1930, on the old family farm located in Mountain Grove, Missouri. She wa s the third of seven children born to Reuben F. Gartin and Violet Arbell (Davis) Gartin. Helen graduated in 1948 from Mountain Grove High School where she played softball and was involved in many activities. She then joined her parents and younger siblings who had relocated a year earlier to Notus, Idaho. In 1950 Helen began a career with Sears Roebuck & Company in Caldwell, Idaho. Following her years with Sears, Helen worked for Daly & Company in Boise that later became Piper, Jaffray & Hopwood until they moved their operations to the East coast. Helen worked for Boise Cascade Corporation until her retirement.
As fate would have it, Sears, where Helen worked as a young woman, was located directly across the street from the home of Wesley and Ilano McCollum, parents of a handsome Marine, Wesley Jack McCollum. Helen and Jack met, dated and married on September 14, 1955, at Wilder, Idaho. They enjoyed 52 years together doing all the things, big and small, that they loved most, including simply driving in the rain. They had a beautiful yard and vegetable garden that was the envy of many gardeners, and they enjoyed sharing the bounty with neighbors, friends and family. They were especially fond of fishing, whether bass fishing in the Boise area or salmon fishing in Alaska. Together they cruised and toured interesting places in Europe. Helen was an avid golfer and also excelled at bowling and hiking. She and Jack were enthusiastic BSU football fans and season ticket holders which she maintained following Jack’s death until her health no longer allowed her to attend home games. They loved many dogs throughout the years.
Family members always said that Helen was the “glue” that kept the scattered family together and her home was always a hub of activity. She cooked wonderful dinners for the family on holidays and special events and anytime someone from out-of-town came to visit. Throughout the summer they barbecued and celebrated family with regular reunions. Helen canned fruit from their garden, pickled cucumbers and made blue-ribbon rhubarb pies that were enjoyed by many over the years.
She is survived by two sisters, LaVonna Latimer Schwasinger of Boise and Nancy A. (Quentin) Smith of Nampa; three brothers, Wayne A.”Buck” (Marilyn) Gartin, Silverdale, WA; Frank E. (Verna Ridley) Gartin, Boise and Davis Doyle “Dave” Gartin, Phoenixville, PA; and a sister-in-law, Jody (Bill) Clement of Tulsa, OK. Twenty-six nieces and nephews from both sides of the family were near and dear to her heart. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 52 years, Jack McCollum; her parents; her sister, Betty Bales; sisters-in-law, Pat Gartin, Mary Gartin, Doris Gartin and Mary Thomas; brothers-in-law, Clarence Latimer, Mel Schwasinger, Ernie Bales, Elmer Thomas and Tom McCollum.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Idaho, 2995 N Cole Rd #120, Boise, Idaho 83704. The family expresses a sincere thank you for the loving care given to Helen by All Care Hospice and Edgewood Plantation Place in Boise.
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