Helen Jean Spyker, 98, left this earth for heaven on December 13, 2022, at St. Rita’s Medical Center surrounded by family. Helen Jean was born in Lima, OH, on September 25, 1924, to L.K. and Helen (Vortkamp) Spyker. She graduated from Shawnee High School in 1942.
During high school and beyond, Helen Jean worked in the family nursery business located on Shawnee Road.
Following WWII, she went into business with her brothers and launched what, at that time, was known as Elmview Housewares. This store would become what many remember as The Elmview Store. A pioneer businesswoman, Helen Jean used her business to inspire a love of history in her local community. She served on the Shawnee High School Alumni Association, was a leader in the local DAR Chapter and a part of the Daughters of 1812. She worked with Allen and Auglaize Counties Genealogical Societies and the Cridersville and Allen County Historical Societies. Helen Jean was considered one of the most prominent local historians.
Helen Jean could often be found enjoying the great outdoors. She loved to garden and was tenderhearted towards all living things, especially her cats and the birds that frequented her feeders. She loved Native American culture and she and best friend, Brenda Hawk, could often be found sharing this love in tee pees or at pow wows. She was keeper of the stories and a seeker of knowledge. Helen Jean’s love of genealogy and her family have inspired many and her legacy will live on for years to come.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers: Lawrence (Alice), Richard (Dorothy), David (Margene), and Joel (Eulice) Spyker and a nephew, Jack.
She is survived by her best friend, Brenda Hawk, her nieces, and nephews: Daniel (Alexandra) Spyker, Steve (Ajourne) Spyker, Richard L. Spyker, Jonathon (Barbara) Spyker, David Spyker, and Nancy (David) Finn; grandnieces and nephews, great grand nieces and nephews, and many friends.
Services will be held at Bayliff and Son Funeral Home in Cridersville, OH, on Wed. December 21, 2022, at noon. Friends will be received preceding the funeral from 9 AM – Noon. Rev. Jonathon Spyker will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Helen J. Spyker Memorial Fund in care of Cridersville Church of the Nazarene.