Fayetteville, North Carolina, April 15, 2020 —Helen Jewel Lewis Pinson, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died quietly today. She was 93.
Born in Leavenworth, Kansas on July 23, 1926, to parents John Henry Lewis and Estella Verne Liggett Lewis. She attended Leavenworth Schools and graduated from Leavenworth High School. After World War II, Helen met the love of her life, the late William Calvin Pinson. The two were married on May 8, 1949 at First Baptist Church, Leavenworth, Kansas. Helen and Bill celebrated 70 years together and raised three sons.
Helen was a faithful Christian and lived her faith in her daily life. Her true love in church was to sing in the choir and in supporting church programs. Helen was the very heart of the Pinson family and took great pride in being a “homemaker”. Taking care of a husband in the Army and three active boys, was indeed a full-time job for Helen. When the boys would come home from school, there was Helen making another surprise dessert for them. It wasn’t until recently the family found out that Helen loved desserts even more than her boys. Helen never did retire as, even at 93, she was still trying to take care of the family and was most anxious to hear how all the family members were doing. A few years ago a relative from Kansas sent her a brief video that was taken around 1940 of Helen and her father. When asked at age 91, if she still felt that same zest for life, as evident in the video, she smiled and said “yup”. Helen was always teaching in very subtle yet powerful ways and never one to judge. She was definitely a “mother in love” to the wives of her three sons. Helen also enjoyed watching her Clemson Tigers and in her younger years participated in sporting activities. Helen had a competitive spirit and especially enjoyed tennis, volleyball, badminton, shuffleboard and croquet. Helen lived a full and extraordinary life. Her dynamic spirit and clever wit will be missed by all who love her. She never wanted the spotlight and stayed as independent as possible to the end. I can hear her saying right now “Get, get, get…you all have family to take care of….I’ll be OK… now Get!
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Estella and John Lewis; her sisters, Gertrude Madison, Edith VanEman, Virginia Lewis, Francis Lewis, Mary Redford, and brother, John Lewis; and her husband, Colonel (RET) William C. Pinson.
Helen is survived by three sons, John W. Pinson, Robert C. Pinson (Suzanne), and Jerald B. Pinson (Cheryl); grandchildren, Mathew A. Pinson (Susan), Mary Frances Pinson, Molly-Mae Helen Pinson, Johanna Thoma (Dan), Stephen St. Germain (Samantha), Hunter Pinson, Calvin Pinson; and great-grandchildren, Elizabeth Pinson, Henry Pinson, Odin Thoma, Liam Thoma, Harper St. Germain, and Lily St. Germain. Helen is also survived by her sister, Martha Widdice, Leavenworth, Kansa; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A family service will be held at Magnolia Cemetery, 416 Magnolia Avenue, Greenwood, South Carolina on a date yet to be determined.