Helen, 92, was born in Modesto, CA on July 5, 1927. She is survived by her husband, Kenneth Rairden, who was the love of her life. They were married for 52 years. She had two daughters, Sharon Sanders (Ray) of Modesto and Deborah Bell of Napa, CA. She was blessed with six grandchildren: Brian Bell, Jaime Johnson, Mark Bell, Julie Bell, Matt Sanders and Monica Sanders, and 10 ½ great-grandchildren. Nieces and a nephew include: Charlene, Linda, Ed, Anna, Sarah, Mary, and Cindy. She was preceded in death by five older brothers: Robert, Russell, Wesley, William, and Charles.
Helen attended Franklin Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High, Modesto High School, Modesto JC and Stanislaus State College. At age 7, she began taking dance lessons and years later performed at the 1940 World’s Fair at Treasure Island in San Francisco. At age 9, she began playing the violin which would bring her joy and happiness until her passing. As a majorette she led the Modesto High School Marching Band onto the football field. She did the same when attending Modesto JC. In 1958, she began working as a clerk for the Stanislaus County Assessor’s Office and continued there until graduating from Stanislaus State. Soon after, she began a 26 year teaching career in the Stanislaus Union School District. Her teaching philosophy was “To teach children to be honest, to be creative, and to be resourceful.” Helen enjoyed her retirement years living with her husband on the Rairden Ranch in Waterford, CA, raising sheep and llamas.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 11:00am at Saint Louis Catholic Church in La Grange, CA. Memorial contributions may be sent to the American Lung Association, or charity of choice.
American Lung Association
1531 I st., Sacramento CA 95814