Helen Ratliff

May 17, 1939 - February 4, 2022

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.

By attending any public event, you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control: cdc.gov.

 

 

Video

Download Program

Graveside Service

Hardin Memorial Park
  • 418, Cemetery Rd, Silsbee, TX, 77656,
  • February 8, 2022
  • 2:00 pm

Comments (7)

    Terry Garrett says:

    I first met Helen before I was a teenager and I had no idea of the lifelong friendship that was ahead of us. I can still recall the first day she came to our house to see my mother, Karen. She was Karen’s friend first and we used to all go to lunch together, but then she became my friend, and my sister, Kelly’s, too. Helen had a beautiful habit of reaching out a helping hand to those who had fallen on hard times and rescuing them. If there was a tangled soul, Helen made it her business to befriend them. I hope as she enters her new home, that some of those to whom she extended understanding, kindness, and mercy will be there to greet her. I will miss you, Helen and I am thankful for the years you were such a friend of our family. Rennie and Becky, Kelly and I are thinking of you.

    Rennie Fontaine says:

    I remember the amazing friendship you had with my mom. I have many memories of you two.

    Chrystina Hallmark Bush says:

    Mrs Helen has a special place in my heart. As a child, she always took time to listen and as I got older encouraged me with my education. When I dropped out of school, she worked with me as I got my GED. I always enjoyed playing at her house with Rennie and Becky. Trampoline shows and playing dress up out of those marvelous trunks. You will be missed, Mrs Helen

    Rennie Fontaine says:

    We were just talking about those days. We had a good time jumping on that trampoline. Thank you for the kind words.

    Peggy Sterling Scarborough says:

    Girls! Your Mother was loved by many including me. She loved you both unconditionally. Roger & Helen are together again…jitterbug dancing!

    Wilson Neyland says:

    Becky and Rennie- so very sorry to hear of your Mothers passing. Love and prayers for you and yours.

    w./

    Sammie Jones says:

    I was shocked Saturday when I got to work to hear Helen had died on Friday! I am so sorry for your loss! I will forever cherish our many conversations, she was a very interesting lady!

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