She was born August 31, 1921 to William Blaine and Bessie O’Conner Young in Chanute.
Helen graduated high school in 1939. She joined the cadet program and graduated from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Fort Scott on Oct. 22, 1945. She was then transferred to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Colorado. Since World War II ended in 1945, Helen only had to serve one year. She then did some traveling and lived in California for a while. Helen returned to Chanute where she worked at Neosho Memorial Hospital. There a fellow nurse, Florence Ashcraft Deacon introduced her to Merritt Raymond Ashcraft. They were married Nov. 26, 1952 in Stillwater, Okla.
Helen never met a stranger and she always made everyone feel at home. She was always going and doing for others. She was a member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church prior to moving to Kingfisher in 1994. She was a member of the VFW Auxiliary, Republican Women, and a member of Kingfisher Friends of the Library. Helen worked in many areas of nursing. She worked in labor & delivery at Jane Phillips Hospital and she work at Country Memorial, in Bartlesville, Okla.. She worked at Stillwater Medical Center and was the Director of Nurses at Guthrie Masonic Home. Her last job was at the Oklahoma State University Infirmary, where she retired.
Helen loved her family and friends. She kept in touch with everyone even if it was just a quick note on a post card. She believed in giving, she always had a “goodie bag” for her children, grandchildren or if she went to visit someone. She believed you could learn and do anything no matter how old you were. She conquered her fear and learned to swim at age 63.
She always wanted to be a writer so she wrote for Central Rual News from 1980-1987. She wrote mostly human interest stories about her family and friends. She loved to “make memories” and was always taking pictures of the moment. Helen will be truly missed.
Survivors include two sons, Merritt Ashcraft and wife, Nancy, Chandler, Okla., Dan Ashcraft and wife, Tish, Ewa Beach, Hawaii; one daughter, Sandy Matthews and husband, Tom, of Okarche, Okla.; 10 grandchildren, Martin and wife, Paula, Wylie, Texas, Stacey and husband, Barry Garrett, of Luther, Okla., Mark and wife, Shasta, Edmond, Okla., Mike and wife, Libby, Forest Park, Ill., Brian and wife, Sarah, Wichita, Jenny Matthews, Blaine, Emily, Amber and Timothy Matthews of Okarche, Okla.; six great-grandchildren, Corbyn, Megan, Evan, and Brenna, Eden and Ollie and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her son Michael Ashcraft, husband Ray Ashcraft, sisters Sarah and husband, Lester Seidle, Elizabeth and Margaret Young; brothers, Bill and Jim Young; sisters-in-law Fern Ivy and husband, Thad, and Florence Deacon and husband, Mike
Helen donated her body to science and requested not to have a service. Donations can be made to favorite charity in her name.