|Honored by:||James A. and Sue B. Mullins|
|Brick location:||PAVER:13 map|
Helen Lucille Chambers Mullins was a small-town woman with a heart as big as the world. She embraced life with an enthusiasm as hearty as her laughter. Her faith moved her along life's adventure with surety, commitment, integrity, and a strength that passed to those whom she touched and loved.
A natural teacher who received her formal education at Iowa State Teachers College (now UNI), Helen broadened the horizon for her six children and their children, for her children's spouses, for the entire farming community in which she moved and for the children she taught in the Allison, IA school and in the Corwith United Methodist Church.
Strong in her Christian faith, Helen's dream was to become a missionary in some far-off "exotic", country. Her husband, John, was not convinced of the dream's validity. So Helen was in mission where ever she was and overcame, in her early married years, the conditions common to those "exotic" locales...and in rural Iowa.
She followed John from the relatively well-equipped "county agent's" home in Allison in the early years of their marriage to farm homes with neither power nor water. As John dreamed his dreams of agriculture's future, Helen taught their children to dream the dreams upon which they built their futures.
She found joy and laughter where others might have suffered anger and embarrassment. A favorite story was of the time she was called to see if John could provide "a team" for their new neighborhood's thrashing effort. Helen replied that they would be pleased to help that she would bring food for the communal noon dinner but that they couldn't provide the requested team because they had none...just a tractor.
Lifting the phone moments after that conversation, Helen heard neighbors on the telephone party line expressing their dismay over her marriage. "You know" Helen heard "that John Mullins will never amount to a hill of beans. He doesn't even own a horse!"
She related that story for years at family dinners, choking with laughter at each telling. This ability to laugh at herself and help others make light of their troubles drew the community to Helen's leadership. Her family, too, was centered on her great, accepting love.
Whether scooping up a fallen child to hug away the pain or providing the warmth and comfort of food and presence to those bereaved, Helen held the people of her world tenderly.
Helen's world was a world of discovery. When her sight failed, she turned to books and magazines on audio cassette. And she shared what she learned and what she knew. She recognized that her experience and her new knowledge provided a bridge between past and present as much for those she loved as for herself.
Helen Mullins was a magnet for her family. She drew them into holiday-dinners and birthday celebrations." They came from around Iowa and the nation to celebrate with "Mom" "Grandma" Helen.
Helen was a woman ahead of her time in recognizing the common threads between herself and rural women in the most remote regions of the globe; between herself and urban women; between all peoples.
The memories of her laughter and her love of life and others is the wealth she left for friends and family.
"Women of our Family
Sue Blunt Mullins
Jennifer Mullins Jones
Gesa Zinn Mullins"
Brick also located at: H18