Marilyn "Jean" Helfinstine, 78, died on October 4, 2018, at the High Pointe House in Haverhill, MA. She was born on January 23, 1940, in Springfield, IL, the daughter of the late Thomas H. and Virginia (Bell) Taylor.
Jean grew up in Springfield and later moved to Champaign, IL, where she graduated from high school in 1958. In 1962, she graduated from the University of Illinois and then taught high school English in Watseka, IL, for two years. In 1964, she married Robert A. Helfinstine. They resided in West Lafayette, IN, and both attended Purdue University.
After she received a Master's Degree in English, they moved to Texas where she taught middle school in Houston and Austin. In 1971 her son William was born, and later came the birth of son Charles in 1973. Jean then stayed home to rear her two sons. In 1974 they moved to Tulsa, OK, where she did volunteer work and received an award as the volunteer of the year from the Tulsa school system.
In 1987, they moved to Grove City, PA, where she was a member of the East Main Presbyterian Church, P.E.O., the Grove City Literary Club, the Shakespeare Club, and helped to start the Grove City Literacy Council, which assists adults to obtain a GED or to improve their English as a second language. She also taught writing at Grove City College.
In 2014 they moved to Exeter, NH, where she was a member of the Congregational Church in Exeter (UCC) and singer in the choir. She was an avid reader and served as the "librarian" for the condo association at her residence. She also loved the outdoors where she enjoyed gardening, camping, hiking, and traveling.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Robert "Bob" A. Helfinstine of Exeter, two sons, William "Bill" E. Helfinstine and his wife Jennifer Dickert of Dover, NH, and Charles "Charlie" A. Helfinstine and his wife Melisa Moore of Wynnewood, PA; four grandsons, Alexander, Theo, Oliver, and Arlo Helfinstine; her sister Virginia "Ginny" Gillespie of Chatham, IL; and her cousin Dan Taylor of Boston, MA.
A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018, at 10 AM at the Congregational Church in Exeter (UCC), 21 Front St., Exeter, NH. Brewitt Funeral Service, 14 Pine St., Exeter, NH is assisting the family.
For more information, please visit www.brewittfuneralhome.com.