Helen's Story

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Helen Irene Misner, 96, of West Terre Haute, passed away at 11:58 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017, at Providence Health Care in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. She had been a resident at Maryvale in St. Mary-of-the-Woods for many years. She was born March 24, 1921, in Vigo County, to Walter "Perry" Joab and Jesse Olive Rollings Joab.
Helen Grew up on a farm on the state line in western Vigo County being the youngest of six children. After high school she attended St. Anthony's Nursing School and then joined the Navy upon graduation, going in as an officer. She spent most of her time in the service caring for the boys in a hospital at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. During that time she personally cared for General Holland Smith, the Commandant of all the Marines serving in the South Pacific at one time. Though only a couple of years older than her patients, she said many of them thought of her as their mother and wrote to her after the War. During her time in the service, she attained rank of Lieutenant J.G. (LTJG). She received the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
After the service she returned to Terre Haute, where she married Edwin Misner, on April 26, 1946. A happy union that would last 43 years. During those years Helen and Edwin lived in both Arizona and South Carolina before retiring back to Indiana.
Edwin preceded her in death on June 29, 1990. She also was preceded in death by her parents; and six siblings, Mildred M. Miller and her husband Raymond, Lucille M. Fitzpatrick and her husband Crede, D. "May" Sullivan and her husband Leo, Paul R. Joab and his wife Virginia and Frances G. Witty and her husband Wayne; and an infant brother, Raymond James Joab. She is survived by a sister-in-law, Audrey Misner; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, great-great-nieces and nephews; several great-great-great-nieces and nephews, who all affectionately referred to her as Aunt Helen; her church family; friends at Maryvale; and many special friends.
Helen was very devoted to her family and friends. Always concerned about the welfare of others. Being the youngest of her siblings she was very devoted both as a sister and nurse often being a caregiver especially in their later stages of life. She was a member of Bethany United Church of Christ in West Terre Haute, The Red Hat Society, and the Nightingales from whom she received the Florence Nightingale award which is an award given to nurses who have devoted their lives to caring for the sick.
In 2016 at age 95, Helen was recognized as a hometown hero by Tom McClanahan at WTWO as one of the few World War II veterans in the Wabash Valley. He stated that at age 95, Helen was a vibrant and beautiful lady who had lived an exemplary life making her the perfect Hometown Hero.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Monday in Fitzpatrick Funeral Home with the Rev. Norris Keirn officiating and military graveside rites by the Vigo County Veterans Honor Guard and U.S. Navy. She will be laid to rest beside Edwin in Roselawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and prior to services Monday. The family kindly suggests that if friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to Bethany United Church of Christ of the charity of donor's choice with envelopes available in the funeral home.
Published on November 2, 2017
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