Helen Elaine Armantrout, 87, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, of Cheboygan passed away on November 10, 2020. A lifelong resident of Cheboygan, Helen was born on May 21, 1933, the daughter of Wilhelmina “Minnie” and Earl Manuel. On October 23, 1953 Helen married Ervin Armantrout and the two were married for over 63 years until Ervin’s death in 2017. During her lifetime, Helen made her living as seamstress where customers would visit “Helen’s Sewing Corner” on Woiderski Road. In addition to alternations and patching the worn knees of her grandchildren’s favorite jeans, she also created many elaborate wedding dresses and business suits and made custom homecoming and prom dresses for her granddaughters.
Education was very important to Helen and she went back to school as an adult to complete her high school degree. She loved writing and telling stories (especially scary stories about a troll in the closet when it was time to get the kids to go down for a nap). She also took courses in writing and wrote several children’s stories.
Helen was a lifelong member of St. Thomas Lutheran Church where the family attended weekly services for over 70 years. She taught Sunday School and Bible School for many years and was on the Alter Guild. She was a member of the Women’s Group, working at banquets, weddings, funerals and other church functions and was also the coordinator of the Lutheran Social Services. Helen’s favorite, however, was the Quilting Bee where she met weekly with other members to prepare quilts for needy families. Helen was exceptionally honored when she received the “Mother of the Year” Award in 2006 at the 65th annual Mother/Daughter Banquet. In addition to her volunteer work at the church, Helen was also the head of the Candy Stripers at the Cheboygan Community Memorial Hospital for a number of years, teaching the other Candy Stripers how to help the nurses.
Helen loved sharing family picnics, weekend camping trips and spending time with her family and friends down “at the pond”. She enjoyed walking, gardening and canning. She would make homemade bread and cinnamon rolls which was a favorite day for the family!
Helen is survived by three of her children, Debra (Myron) Turnbull, Greg Armantrout and Elaine Armantrout, all of Cheboygan and her daughter-in-law Lori Armantrout of Maryland as well as 14 grandchildren: Mandy (Gibran) Mursalin of California, Nicolle (Tony) Ramia of Texas, Haley (Matt) Turnbull of California, Shannon (Jeff) Sequin of Rhodes, Lindsay Douglas of Arkansas, Mackenzie (Adam) Gary of Standish, Allisha (Matt) Roden of Dearborn, Gregory (Amy) Armantrout, Jr., of Rhodes, Amanda (Randy) Yonts of Lake George, Kristine (David) Henson of Maryland, Elizabeth (Adam) Stephens of Texas, Zachary Ostroske of Cheboygan, Kylie (Blaine) LaVigne of Cheboygan and Dane (Arin) Ostroske of Cheboygan and 24 great-grandchildren: Logan, Brynn, Sienna, Alexander, Samuel, Lucas, Jack, Michelle, Cody, Brandon, Dominic, Ally, Hannah, James, Emma, David, Kelsey, Cassandra, Anthony, Zachary, Kaylyn, Briana, Jeremiah and Alexander.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Ervin, son David, daughter-in-law Dena, brothers, Earl Manuel, Jr. and Harold Wartella and sisters Esther Aikens and Beatrice Graham.
No services are planned. Anyone wishing to give a memorial may do so by donating to the St. Thomas Memorial Fund.
The Nordman-Christian Funeral Home is caring for the family.
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