Helen J. Ratliff, 82, of Silsbee, died Friday, February 4, 2022. She was born on May 17, 1939, in Waynesville, North Carolina, to Hannah Moore Robinson and Wayne E. Robinson.
She graduated from Silsbee High School in 1957, The University of Texas in 1961, and attended Lamar University throughout her career as an educator. Helen was a teacher, like her mother, a counselor, and an educational diagnostician. She spent over twenty years in education and continued her career teaching the GED program for Beaumont Independent School District.
Helen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She had a passion for teaching, classical music, tennis, and swimming, and often shared that passion with friends, family, and community. It was not uncommon for her to take the neighborhood children and friends’ children to swim team practice or tennis practice. She had a giving heart and was always willing to help others. When her grandchildren were young you could always find them doing projects of every kind and she always had a bag of treasures, called her purse, with just about anything that would be needed for a project or emergency.
Helen and her late husband, Roger, shared a passion for dancing and would find every opportunity to jitterbug. They both also shared a passion for traveling. They would pack the camper and head out on an adventure. One of their favorite places to visit was Big Bend National Park and, of course, wherever their children or grandchildren were living at the time.
Mother was a long-time member of the First United Methodist Church in Silsbee. She loved the women of the Victery Class and spoke highly of each and every one in her Sunday School class.
Mother found solace in music, and it was classical music that could calm her spirit. Music brought her so much peace. “…Undoubtedly I should have gone mad but for music. Music is indeed the most beautiful of all Heaven’s gifts to humanity wandering in the darkness. Alone it calms, enlightens, and stills our souls. It is not the straw to which the drowning man clings; but a true friend, refuge, and comforter, for whose sake life is worth living” – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Survivors include her daughters, Rennie Fontaine and her husband, Jason, of Silsbee and Becky Rounds and her husband, Jason, of Texarkana; grandchildren, Greg Lundvick of Colorado, Will Fontaine of Silsbee and Cate Rounds and Janie Rounds, both of Texarkana; and sister Margaret Read from Katy, Texas. She is preceded in death by her husband and her parents.
Helen’s graveside service will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at Hardin Memorial Park, Silsbee, under the direction of Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Silsbee Public Library 295 North 4th Street, Silsbee, Texas 77656 or Silsbee Band Boosters, 419 Cemetery Road, Silsbee, Texas 77656.
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Hardin Memorial Park
- 418, Cemetery Rd, Silsbee, TX, 77656,
- February 8, 2022
- 2:00 pm