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Helen Elizabeth (Martin) Tilton

Published on -10/25/2013, 11:22 AM

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QUINTER -- Helen Elizabeth (Martin) Tilton, age 98, passed away on October 24, 2013, in the Gove County Medical Center Long Term Care Facility in Quinter, KS.

Helen was born at the family farm north of Quinter on October 3, 1915, to the late Robert and Helen (Thompson) Martin. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Loyd; and three brothers, Wayne, Donald and Fred Martin.

Helen and Loyd were married for 58 years and spent most of those years building a life filled with fun and children. They are survived by their son Gene and daughter Joan. Gene and Judy Tilton continue to live in Quinter. Their children include the families of: Don and Charla (Sanger); Carol and Robert Walt; Susan and Dave Jones; Ron and Susan (Jergens); Jill and Floyd Blackwill; and Robin and Todd Muhlheim. Joan Tilton Gitchell lives in Centennial, CO, and her children include the families of Anne Bobkowski, and John and Jean (Alexander) Gitchell. She was also a proud great-grandmother to 20 and great-great-grandmother to 18.

Helen grew up on the family farm and was home-schooled until she was 8 years old. She went to Quinter Grade School and received her diploma from the Common Schools of Kansas on June 12, 1928. She attended Quinter High School and graduated with the class of 1932. She attended Fort Hays College for two years, and in the fall of 1934, she began her teaching career in a one-room school north of Quinter.

Helen and Loyd were married in WaKeeney on April 27, 1935, and lived in Quinter and Colorado until World War II, when they went to Portland, OR, and Van Couver, WA. Loyd welded ships for Keiser, and Helen carried U.S. Mail. After the war, they returned to Quinter and bought a farm near Helen's family home. Helen took the post-war census in rural Kansas.

She returned to teaching in 1954 and also returned to Fort Hays College (which had been renamed Fort Hays State University), and graduated in 1958. She taught in country schools and served as the Gove County schools superintendent for several years. She taught multiple grades in the Quinter schools but enjoyed kindergarten the most.

In 1957, Loyd and Helen moved to Quinter and (after retirement) they spent their winters living in Tucson, AZ. Helen lived in the Springwood Senior Living Center in Arvada, CO, for seven years. She returned to Quinter and spent the last eight years in the Quinter LTC and retirement community. Her bridge club held their meetings in the LTC and continued to include her until she was 92.

She was a lifelong member of the Quinter United Methodist Church. She loved the company of family and friends, and always enjoyed meeting for coffee. She was a member of the Helping Hands Club and the Pandora Club. She served as chairman of the Quinter Library Board in 1975. She loved books, learning and teaching. Upon moving into the nursing home, she donated her Mac computer to the library. She thoroughly enjoyed playing Christmas carols and hymns by memory on the piano.

She is missed by family and friends.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday, October 28, 2013, at Quinter United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Baker Township Cemetery, Quinter.

Visitation will be from 8 a.m. to service time at the church.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Quinter United Methodist Church and may be sent in care of Schmitt Funeral Home, 901 S. Main, Quinter, KS 67752.

Words of comfort can be sent to the family at www.schmittfuneral.com.

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