Helen James, 97
We lost the matriarch of our family, the last of our “Greatest Generation,” Helen Mariana Anderson James. She went to be with the Lord on Feb. 7, 2019. Helen was a true Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, girl, born to Mary and Gar Anderson Sr. on July 10, 1921, at the family home at 314 S. 14th St. Helen spent the summers of her youth at Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene with her older sister, Gertrude, and younger brother, Gar, both of whom have predeceased her.
Helen fell in love with a young, handsome Coeur d’Alene man, Vernon “Tootie” James, and they were married for 69 years until his passing on Dec. 16, 2009.
Helen is survived by her three sons: Robert (Nancy), Richard (Nancy), and Randell (Mary); seven grandchildren: Kristi Clark, Jeffrey (Jani) James, Trent (Beth) James, Scott (Christi) James, Ben (Stephanie) James, Loni James and Will (Lauren) James; 14 great-grandchildren: Ryan James, Aaron (Tatiana) James, Hannah James, Alexander James, Madeline (Richard) Mendoza, Genny James, Emma James, Ryen James, Jessie James, Jayden James, Tessa James, Jack James, Andrew James and Samuel James; three great-great-grandchildren: Lily James, Jemma James and Isaiah James; and many nieces and nephews.
Nothing pleased Helen more than sharing get-togethers with her loving family. She will be remembered for her kind spirit and love of the Big Band music of the ‘40s, which Tootie played on his trumpet in various bands for many years. She loved to spend time on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, and spent many family vacations at the old CCC Ranger Cabin on Skookum Creek. She maintained her wonderful sense of humor right through her last days.
Helen loved the Lord and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church for close to 70 years. She lived most of her life in Coeur d’Alene except for a number of years in Spokane, Wash. She worked with Tootie at KZUN and KVNI radio stations until she retired. She lived at Avondale Golf course and Leisure Park for several years before moving to The Terrace at Orchard Ridge Assisted Living (Coeur d’Alene Homes).
A special thanks to nieces Gayle Goodsen and Vendla Wilkins for their thoughtful visits and loving help over the last several years. Also, a special thanks to the nursing staff at LaCrosse Health and Rehab Center for their wonderful care the last few weeks of her life.
The visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at the Yates Funeral Home, Coeur d’Alene Chapel. The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 18, 2019, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Coeur d’Alene. A reception will follow the service at the church. Burial will be in Riverview Cemetery. Yates Funeral Home is in care of the arrangements and you may visit Helen’s online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com