Cover photo for Helen Marie Williams's Obituary
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1930 Helen 2024

Helen Marie Williams

September 15, 1930 — June 24, 2024

Gillette

Helen Marie (Schneider) Williams was born on her parents’, Frank and Mary (Lucas) Schneider’s, homestead where the Cordero Mine was founded. They had eight girls and one boy. The boy died from influenza in 1919. They raised sheep, and later cattle, and Helen spent many nights in the sheep wagon out in the pasture. She learned to hunt and was quite a good shot. All of the girls had boy nicknames, as Helen’s Dad wanted a boy so bad. Helen’s nickname was Shorty. Helen was at the train when servicemen were coming home from WWII when Leon saw her. His only comment was “he was going to get her”. They were married September 15, 1946 and were together for 57 years. When Leon was called back to the Navy for the Korean War, Helen baked pies to supplement income. Helen had polio in 1954 and worked hard to regain her mobility. Her house was a popular place for all the neighborhood kids. She always had cookies or other goodies. It was also the common gathering place during holidays, as Helen always had a feast for 20+ people prepared. Helen worked alongside her husband Leon when he drilled water wells for Williams Drilling all over the area. Lots of those water wells are still being used today. There were many times Helen drove truck loads of pipe to wherever Leon was working. Her little boys, and later Donna, rode along. When Leon started his machine shop (Leon’s Repair) Helen helped in any way she could and by doing books as well. Helen went to work during the holidays at Lipman’s Clothing, and later worked for Federal Land Bank and Production Credit. She developed a lot of friendships through that time. Helen loved music, played piano by ear, as well as the violin, which was her father’s. Helen took lessons in later years for both instruments. One summer, she even went to Spearfish, South Dakota for violin lessons with her granddaughter, who was taking lessons in college at the time. She also enjoyed bowling and played on a league, where they won several tournaments. There was never a lot of money, so she did her high school by correspondence on the ranch, because it was too costly to go to town. She later got her GED and studied alongside her kids. Helen was preceded in death by her parents, seven sisters, brother, her husband, Leon, of 57 years, and son Joe.

Helen is survived by son, Jim (Brenna); daughter, Donna; four grandchildren: Shannon, Chad (Tracy), Jamie (Corby), and Kaci (Mark); nine great grandchildren, and one great-great grandson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

 The family wishes to thank all the nurses and caregivers at Sundance Long Term Care Unit for their care of Helen.

 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The American Legion in Gillette, the Long Term Care Unit in Sundance, or a charity of your choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Marie Williams, please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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