American Veteran 07

Helen E. Mellor

Obituary

Helen Mellor, 98, of Cranston, RI, died at home with her family by her side on Sunday evening, March 27. She leaves an empty space for her husband of 76 years, Don Mellor, but at the same time, she leaves her six children with a sense of humor, a positivity about life, and an appreciation of family love. Helen was the daughter of Chester and Mildred (Jones) Phillips of Cranston. She graduated from Cranston High School and attended Lasell Junior College before joining the Coast Guard during World War II. She and her husband Don (US Navy) considered their service to country as among their proudest legacies. She is a member of Women in Military Service for America and is honored at the Military Women’s Memorial at Arlington. At the time of her death, Don and Helen Mellor were the oldest WWII veteran married couple in Rhode Island. Helen’s life was a rich balance of work and adventure. After school she’d help out at her father’s Weybosset Pure Food Market, and her childhood summers were spent on the rocky coast at Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Modeling a solid work ethic and a willingness to explore, she gave her kids both a sense of responsibility and the courage to find new places and new ways of seeing the world. Helen met her future husband Don at Builders Iron Foundry, but war and service would send Don off to the Pacific and Helen to Boston and Florida, where she assisted the troops as a member of the SPARS. After the war and only nine dates, Helen and Don married in 1945, settling back in Cranston and beginning their wonderful life of building a family. In 1960 Helen and Don loaded their kids into a large station wagon and headed west to see America, the first of the many trips across the country. After the children had grown up and begun their own lives, Helen and Don still took to the road, even trekking the newly-built Alaska Highway in a pickup truck, sometimes sleeping in the back. Later, they would buy a lakeside cottage in Bridgton, Maine, where Helen, along with most of the extended family, would run the annual Four-on-the-Fourth road race, often winning her age category (all the more impressive for one who never ran, except in that festive local event!). Her love of books led to a later-in-life career at the Cranston Public Library. She was also a Cub Scout den mother, a Sunday School teacher, and a very able bowler. She hiked Mount Washington on a whim, flew to Europe and Hawaii, took a trip down Lake Placid’s Olympic bobsled run, rafted the Snake River, and crossed the Atlantic on the QE2. She made the most of whatever life brought her way with a happy, bring-it-on attitude, a legacy that lives on with her children. Helen’s number one passion, however, was her love for her husband, something she voiced many times each day, right to the end. If Wikipedia has a page for “marriage,” her kids think that a photo of Helen and Don Mellor ought to be at its top. Sorely missing but deeply appreciating their mother are those kids: Duke and his wife Kathy of South Kingstown, RI; Tom and his wife Roxane of Cohasset, Massachusetts, Don of Lake Placid, NY; Joan Allison and her husband Jack of Chicago, Illinois; Paul of Richmond, Virginia; and Jackie Sidle and her husband Stuart of Hamden, Connecticut. In addition to the children and their spouses, Helen leaves fourteen grandchildren, thirteen great grandchildren, and a host of nieces and nephews. The Funeral Service for Helen Mellor will be held on Friday  April 1st at 11:15am in Phillips Memorial Baptist Church 565 Pontiac Avenue Cranston  followed by burial with Military Honors in The Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery Exeter at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers, Helen would be honored for your support of  the Military Woman’s Memorial 200 N Glebe Road Suite 400 Arlington, VA 22203  (or via credit card online). 
 

 

  


Services

Funeral Service
Friday
April 1, 2022

11:15 AM
Phillips Memorial Baptist Church
565 Pontiac Avenue
Cranston, RI 02910

© 2022 Butterfield Funeral Home and Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility