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Dec 14, 1921 - Nov 17, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Helen Earl Sanders McCombs was born to Lorena Carrell and Clarence Charles Sanders in Cooper, Texas. Helen was married to her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, Don W. McCombs, for 49 years. They fell in love at Cooper High School, survived a difficult separation during World War II, made many moves, and shared a wonderful life together. She loved being Don's wife and our mother. She also enjoyed a 46-year career as a church secretary. She worked for various churches, including the United Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Disciples of Christ Churches in Midwest City, Oklahoma City, Houston and Atlanta before reluctantly retiring at age 86. She and Don enjoyed their work, their family, traveling, and cherished the many friends they made everywhere they lived. Helen was a gracious hostess and a fabulous cook, who loved nothing more than entertaining her family and many friends. She made holidays and birthdays special, baking elaborate cakes and throwing fun parties. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing all kinds of games, working crossword puzzles, book clubs, the Pops, the theatre, and any excuse, whatsoever, for a party. Helen embraced life and persevered through many difficult challenges. Her grandchildren delighted her, and she was excited about becoming a great- grandmother in her final year. Known for her lovely southern accent and charming manner, she was fun and she was funny. It was only when she turned 90 that she was finally willing to admit to her real age. She was a member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, which she truly missed being able to attend in her final years. Helen once said, "In the end, all that really matters are the relationships that you have in your life." She was blessed with a loving family and many, many good friends and good times. Helen was preceded in death by her parents and husband. She is survived by her children, Don and his wife Ginger McCombs, Edwin and his wife Sheri McCombs, and Suzanne McCombs. She is also survived by her five grandchildren, Rachel, Sara and her fiance Cameron Thompson, Matthew and his wife Sarah, Emily and Clayton McCombs. She is also survived by three great-grandchildren, Jackson Davis, William Patrick and Nalay Nicholas. The family extends deep appreciation to the staff, and especially to Helen's friends at Epworth Villa, all of whom took such loving care of her and kept her going strong in the final years. Services will take place at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church at 1 p.m. Wednesday, November 20.

Published in The Oklahoman from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2013
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