Born Helen Lucile Blue March 18th, 1923 in Iroquois, South Dakota she was the oldest of seven children. She always loved reading and wanted to be a teacher from childhood. She worked during high school at the town pharmacy. After junior college in Minnesota, Helen the young South Dakota girl, boarded a train with hundreds of other young women, and headed for Marine Corps basic training in North Carolina. Her first assignment was San Diego and she served during World War II as a baker at Mira Mar. While in San Diego she met a Marine from Arkansas, Ralph Braswell. They wrote during his deployment. After the war, on Nov. 2, 1945, they married in San Diego wearing their Marine uniforms.
The young couple soon settled in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to complete their college degrees at Arkansas State. While there, and living in a Quonset hut, Mark was born and then Martha. After their B.A.s, they began teaching in Missouri and working on their master’s degrees at the University of Missouri. Mary was born in 1953 in Columbia, MO. In 1958, they decided on an adventure, sold everything and moved to California. They started their life as teachers in Fallbrook. Helen loved teaching and finally retired after 25 years in first grade. She and Ralph loved fishing and San Diego sports teams. She was very active in the small Southern Baptist Church. She taught Vacation Bible School, Junior High Girls, and Women’s Missionary groups. She loved hospitality and regularly had guests over Sunday evenings after church. She was famous for her chocolate pie and chocolate cake with divinity icing. And yum, she always made candy for Christmas such as divinity, peanut brittle, and fudge. She frequently had overnight guests in her home who were visiting pastors or missionaries.
She and Ralph loved to travel. They traveled to all 50 states, across 9 Canadian provinces, drove by car all the way to Mexico City, and traveled in Europe and the British Isles.
She loved going to concerts and theater performances. She introduced her children, and their friends, to musical productions that created cherished life-long memories. Always generous, she loved eating out and treating guests.
In 1979, she and Ralph moved to Carlsbad, and later joined Carlsbad Community Church. She was a Women’s Bible Study leader, and also regularly volunteered at Aviara Oaks and Magnolia Elementary schools.
Helen enjoyed reading, but cheated by reading the end of the book first. Her main reading was her daily Bible which she read first thing every morning including the Wed. morning she went to the hospital.
She wrote letters and cards from early childhood and it became a major hobby. She sent birthday cards to her grandchildren, their friends and all her nieces and nephews. We celebrated her 75th birthday by making an album of 120 cards people sent to her from all over the country. Just 2 months ago, she celebrated her 90th birthday with an open house party. Fifty-six people attended and she received 111 birthday cards.
She loved her family and her Lord Jesus Christ and she wanted everyone else to love him too.
Her husband of 50 years died in 1995. She is survived by her 3 children, Mark Braswell and his wife of Overland Park, Kansas, Martha Eaton and her husband of Carlsbad, CA, and Mary Burnett and her husband of Escondido, CA. In addition, there are 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren, one brother, 2 sisters, sisters-in-law, and many loving nieces and nephews.
The memorial service will be Friday, May 24th, 10:00 AM, at Carlsbad Community Church. It is located at 3175 Harding St., Carlsbad, CA 92008 (760-729-2331). The service will be followed by a family graveside service in Fallbrook. Arrangements are being handled by Berry-Bell and Hall, Fallbrook, CA.
In lieu of flowers, gifts can be given to Carlsbad Community Church children’s department in Helen’s memory.