Helen Stewart, 96

Helen M. Stewart, 96, of Jackson, and formerly of Sturgis, passed away, Jan. 30, 2012 at Highland Alzheimer’s Care in Jackson.

At her request, cremation has taken place. She was born Sept. 9, 1915, to Charles and Esther Humbarger Ladd in Van Wert, Ohio.

A 1933 graduate of Cement City High School, she was the high scorer of the girls’ basketball team, winning the championship of Jackson County.

In 1937, she married Max A. Stewart, residing in Jackson until settling in Sturgis in 1950. She and Max established Sturgis Tool and Die Co., where she assumed much administrative responsibility. They retired to a farm near Bronson and raised and raced harness horses until Max’s death in 1985.

Helen was a member of the Modern Mothers Club, SHS Band Parents, and the Rebekahs. At times, she served as Sturgis Township treasurer and managed a retail fabric store. She was first and foremost an awesome mother and grandmother.

Helen is survived by daughters Nancy Stewart, Bette (Rob) Thomasma of Sturgis and Delores (Michael) LaBeau of Monroe; grandchildren Sarah Michelle LaBeau Delahousse (Baudoin) of New York City and Matthew Stewart LaBeau (Alicia) of Beverly Hills, Calif.; a great-grandson, Timothy James Delahousse; and a sister, Florice Hommerding.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and sisters Clessie Harrington, Verna O’Hair, Berneice Siegfried, Polly Shafer, Opal Fasnaugh and Jeanette Ladd.

A luncheon and celebration of Helen’s life will be held for family and friends at 1 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Elks Lodge, 66200 Grey Lake Road, Sturgis.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Highland Alzheimer’s Care, 1948 Cooper St., Jackson MI 49202. Money will be used for professional enrichment for their dedicated staff, who provide the most outstanding loving and respectful care ever.

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