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Helena Shelden of Lander

Submitted by Tracy Coston on August 14, 2012 – 8:16 amNo Comment

Beloved wife and mother Helena Shelden died on August 7, 2012 at the Help for Health Hospice in Riverton, Wyoming. Helena was born June 17, 1927 in Missoula, Montana to Charles and Emma McCauley. Her grandparents were Montana pioneers. Memorial services will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Lander on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 10:30 am. A graveside service will also be conducted at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison, Helena, Montana on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:30 am. Helena is survived by daughter Lucinda Shelden of Lander, WY, son Jay Shelden of Helena, Montana, sister Kathryn Layne of Missoula, MT, sister-in-law Laura Vie of Mercedes, TX, numerous nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces. Helena was preceded in death by her husband Angier Jay Shelden, by brothers James, Joseph (wife Elsie), and Richard, sisters Anna Stewart, Virginia Murphy, Marian Goforth, Charlotte Mounce, baby sisters Lucy, Jessie, and Frieda McCauley. Helena attended the Target Range School near the family ranch and graduated from Missoula County High School in 1945. While attending the University of Montana, Helena met and married Angier Shelden on February 15, 1947 in Missoula, Montana. The couple was married for fifty-six years until Angier’s death in 2003. After Angier’s graduation in 1950, the young couple moved to Dodson, Montana where Angier taught and coached. In 1951, Angier began his career in the U.S. Customs. The family moved to Great Falls, East Helena, and eventually Helena, Montana. When her daughter was a preschooler, Helena contracted polio. As part of her therapy, she was advised to do exercises in warm water. Helena took therapy at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena and began helping children who were also affected by polio. In the coming years, Helena would become a Red Cross instructor for lifeguarding, water safety instructor, adaptive water instructor and CPR and First aid instructor. Helena was always involved in her children’s lives and community and volunteered with Scouts, Campfire, and Sunday school, camp counselor for both YMCA and church camps. For many years Helena taught arts and crafts classes at the Helena YMCA, weaving for the city recreation center, and taught adaptive aquatics for Helena Public Schools. In the seventies and eighties Helena returned to college attending Carroll College and Fort Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane, Washington. In 1980, Carroll College awarded Helena their service to community award. Helena graduated from Fort Wright College with a degree in psychology and sociology in 1981. After graduation, Helena and Angier moved to Glendive, Montana where Helena worked at Eastmont Human Services. In 1985, Helena accepted a position as aquatic therapist at the Wyoming State Training School in Lander, WY. After retiring from the state training school, Helena began teaching water aerobics at the Lander City Pool and continued teaching until April of this year. Helena was a committed Christian and was always involved in the life of her church. Angier and Helena were charter members of Plymouth Congregational Church of Helena. Helena was still substituting in Sunday school into her 80′s and was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church of Lander at the time of her death. Helena continued to volunteer with the American Red Cross, was a member of the American Legion auxiliary, Fremont County Historical Society, VFW auxiliary, and served on the Lander Senior Center Board of Directors for over a decade. She was also active in the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs and served as president of the Rebekah Assembly of Wyoming in 2000. Also in 2000, Helena was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Red Cross. Memorials may be made to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 586, Cheyenne, WY 82001 or any other organization of the donor’s choosing.

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