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Obituary-Helen Marguarite Splawn

3 June 1945-24 July 2011

It is with deep sadness that the family of Helen M. Splawn announces her passing on Sunday, July 24, 2011, in Denver, Colo. It has been 14 long and brave years for Helen battling breast cancer and he effects of lymphedema. Her strength and inspiration to others will be long remembered.

Helen leaves to mourn her loss, husband of 46 years, Robert G. Splawn; two wonderful sons, Aaron (Amber) C. Splawn, of California, and Brian (Malissa) A. Splawn, of Washington, plus four precious grandsons, Jordan, Ethan, Chase and Rollin. Helen also leaves to mourn her sudden passing, her 100-year-old mother, Elsie A. Dittman, and her sister, Roberta (Dennis) Nicholson and family, all of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. Helen will be sadly missed by Bob’s sister, Donna (Rodger) Pettinger and family, of Arizona and California. Many loving and devoted cousins, nieces and nephews, plus countless friends and neighbors share in this loss of someone so dear.

Helen was preceded in death by her wonderful father, John R. Dittman, and loving in-laws, Floyd and Virginia Splawn.

Born and raised in the Los Angeles and South Bay areas of California, Helen married Robert in 1965 and resided in the Santa Ana, Calif., area. Their family now included two active sons as they moved to the Sacramento area, then onto a beautiful oak-studded five acres in Rescue, Calif.,in 1979.

Helen’s talented imagination and creativity soon lead to teaching many craft and design classes with several large outlets in their area. She then traveled throughout California and numerous other states demonstrating her invention of a craft tool she designed which was quickly bought by a large distribution company and sold in stores both in the U.S. and Canada. Bob and Helen have resided in Pagosa Springs for 16 years, developing many more long lasting friendships and involvement within the community.

Helen’s greatest passion was the company of a loving family and a very large host of friends from near and far. She was a kind and loving person who cared most about bringing happiness into the lives of others. Never one to be shy, her extraordinary ability to make an instant and sincere connection with people and to bring out the very best in them, was a gift she was so very good at. Even during such a difficult illness, she was always ready with a smile or little joke to brighten the day of the people around her or over the distant miles of phone lines. Many will remember seeing her “sale mate,” Molly, carried in her pink shoulder bag, enjoying newly made friends and discoveries of the day. Countless hours assisting several nonprofit organizations, both in California and Pagosa Springs, will always be recognized.

Please join family and friends in a Celebration of Helen’s life to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Community United Methodist Church in Pagosa Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations in Helen’s name may be forwarded to the Community United Methodist Church, 434 Lewis St., Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, with memo line designating “Community Assistance Program in remembrance of Helen Splawn.”

For all the family and friends from afar, an additional Memorial Celebration will be held in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, at a later date in August.

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