Helen Houston Obituary (1934-2021) – Greensboro, NC

Houston, Helen Butler

Helen Butler Houston died on July 22, 2021 at Moses Cone Hospital with her loving family. She was born on October 4, 1934 in County Tipperary, Ireland, to Catherine Cleere and George Butler. She trained in the Irish National School System and upon graduation moved to London where she began college, nursing school and midwifery graduate school at Guys Hospital and University College Hospital. She cycled around London visiting prenatal patients, giving birth and supervising postnatal care. In 1964, Helen was invited to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland to begin a midwifery program. There she met her future husband Dr. Know Frank Houston in the delivery room. Their stormy publicity resulted in a Valentine’s Day proposal and wedding in April 1965. Shortly thereafter, Frank was drafted into the Army Medical Corps and they reported to the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama in July 1965. Their first child, Matt, was born there in 1966, and they made lifelong friends and witnessed the static launch of the Saturn 5 rocket. They returned to Baltimore in 1967, where Frank completed three years of specialist dermatology training with Johns Hopkins and their second child, Catherine, was born in 1968. In 1970 they moved to Greensboro, where their third child, Amanda, was born in 1972. Helen then embarked on a new career as a full-time mother and volunteer that she embraced and suited her well.

She was a devout Roman Catholic and volunteered at St. Pius X School and Church and the Maryfield Nursing Home (now Pennybyrn), where she served on the board of directors. She was also dedicated to the St. Francis Springs Prayer Center and professed in the Secular Franciscan Order over 20 years ago. She loved being a member of the Greensboro Franciscan family and always followed the Franciscan way of life.

When her children attended high school, Helen became involved in activities at Greensboro Day School, Greensboro Medical Auxiliary, Greensboro Symphony Guild, Guilford College Art Appreciation Club, Greensboro Council of Catholic Women, and the English Speaking Union while she was there enjoyed gardening, bridging, and spending time with family and friends.

Helen has always been a fan of Tarheel and welcomed her three children to attend UNC Chapel Hill. Summers in Wrightsville Beach and Yonahlosee were her favorite family vacation spots. She also enjoyed traveling to Hawaii and Europe in the off-season, particularly to her home country of Ireland. She was a strong and passionate woman who enjoyed every stage of her life and everything pink! She was a natural beauty with an Irish temperament to balance things out.

Helen was the last surviving sibling of nine; 3 sisters, Josie (Phelan), May (O’Hara) and Anne (Kavanagh); and 5 brothers, George, Michael, Patrick, John and Christopher. She is survived by her 56 year old husband and her 3 children; Matt (Tammi), Catherine (Stephen) and Amanda (Robert) and 4 grandchildren; Murphey (Kristin), Zachary, Courtney and Josie.

The tour takes place on Wednesday, July 28th from 6pm to 8pm at the Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home, 515 North Elm St. On Thursday, July 29th, at 11 a.m., a Christian funeral mass will be held in the Catholic Church of St. Pius X.

Donations can be made to the Franciscan Center in downtown Greensboro, St. Pius X Catholic Church, and Pennybyrn At Maryfield.

Online condolences can be found at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com.

Published by Greensboro News & Record on July 26, 2021.

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