OBITUARY

Helen W. Landes

November 30, 1926January 12, 2021

Helen Williams Landes was received into the arms of her savior on January 12, 2021. She was born on November 30, 1926, to Walter Emmett and Charline Person Williams. She was raised on a beautiful farm along the banks of the Red River near Garland City, Arkansas. Helen loved this place of her childhood and always considered it her home.

After graduating from Garland City school, Helen attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, before graduating from the University of Arkansas. She married her husband, Rodney, in 1948 following his graduation from the University of Arkansas. Rodney was from Lewisville, just down the road from Garland City, and the two of them would spend the next 59 years together. Helen moved with Rodney to El Dorado in 1950. Here, Helen put down deep roots in the community and in the First Baptist Church, which she called her church home for the rest of her life.

Over the years that followed, Helen was a devoted wife and mother to her three children whose births spanned sixteen years from eldest to youngest. However, she was much more than this. She was instrumental in establishing the Children’s House of Learning, a Montessori school, in El Dorado, and was a founding and long-serving Board member of the South Arkansas Developmental Center for Children and Families. She became a teacher by commuting over several years to Southern Arkansas University (then known as Southern State) to receive her education degree. First, she was a teaching assistant to Glenn Callahan at Yocum Elementary, then she taught at the First Baptist Church Kindergarten for many years.

While teaching full time, Helen also served many worthy causes in her church and in the community. When there was a need, she was there to make a difference. She was integral in starting both the singles ministry and the prayer ministry at First Baptist Church. For her many volunteer efforts, Helen was recognized by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce in 1995 as one of the “Five Who Care” honorees.

After retiring from teaching, Helen enjoyed a return to the family farm near Garland City. She and Rodney spent countless hours tending to the lovely grove of pecan trees grafted by her father so many years ago. Her later years were spent caring for Rodney, enjoying her grandchildren and great grandchildren and staying active and involved with her church, friends and family. With full hearts, we can truly say that Helen’s long, productive, and faithful life was well-lived, and her kindness and generosity touched many lives and made all those around her better.

Helen is predeceased by her parents, her husband, Rodney R. Landes, Sr., her sister, Martha Williams Murray, and brother-in-law, Thompson B. Murray, Jr. She is survived by her brother, Jack L. Williams of Little Rock, her children, Rodney, Jr. (Linda) of El Dorado, Rosalynn of Baton Rouge, and Roger (Shelley) of El Dorado, as well as four grandchildren (Rodney, III (Jenny) of Edmund, Oklahoma, Lesley Roberts (Stan) of Little Rock, Eli and Emmaline of El Dorado and four great grandchildren (Stewart, Mary Helen, Elli, and Ann Kelley).

A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, January 18, 2021 at Wilson Cemetery in Lewisville, AR under the direction of Young’s Funeral Directors and with Rev. Jonathan Kelley officiating. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to First Baptist Church of El Dorado, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home, or South Arkansas Developmental Center for Children and Families.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.youngsfuneralhome.com

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, January 18, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Monday, January 18, 2021

  • Burial

    Monday, January 18, 2021

Memories

Helen W. Landes

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Debra Hammond

January 22, 2021

What a beautiful woman of God. Even though I had the wonderful privilege of meeting Helen late in her ministry, I had heard of her and her husband for years. I will never forget the time we both were apart of a prayer committee that met weekly. She was starting to have more difficulty getting out but she was always beautifully dressed and perfectly ready as I sat there barely having brushed my hair! Someone said well here is Helen because she was a little late. She replied with her standard humble openness that she always thought that her friend Sudie Gardner ( who was there at the time ) must have picked more cotton than she did as a child because she could not beat Sudie in her stamina. But what a stamina Helen had displayed in her lifetime that touched so many people in so many places not even mentioned here. She spent the time I met her continuing to serve , when others would have given up , with beauty and grace that can only come from her walk with her Father,God! She was a mentor to me as I'm sure she was to others. In the words of an old song; "thank you for giving to the Lord. I was a life that was changed.

Lori Landes

January 18, 2021

One of my favorite memories is coming over to play with my cousin, Roger, and being greeted by Aunt Helen, who always seemed sincerely happy to see me. She made us the most healthy and yummy lunches. I send my condolence to all the family.

ELAINE STRICKLAND

January 18, 2021

My sincere condolences to Rodney, Linda and the family. Ms. Helen was a lovely lady and I was blessed to have known her. When I was on the FBC flower committee, I had the opportunity to deliver flowers to her. She was always so gracious and invited me to stay and visit with her.

Susan & Rodney Barnette

January 18, 2021

Rodney we are so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. We didn't know her personally but she had to have been a fine lady to have raised a good man like you. Praying for you, Linda and family.

David & barbara Hogg

January 18, 2021

So sorry for your loss. She was such a joy to be around

Marvin Cole

January 17, 2021

Sorry for the loss of a dear friend Helen. She and I shared the same birthday month and year. Very soon after Shirley and I moved to El Dorado we met Helen and Rodney. That was the beginning of a cherished friendship that lasted throughout the years. I cherish the memories.

Nettia Hale

January 17, 2021

A dear sweet lady who’s presence lit up the room when she was present. Helen will be missed by many. However her contributions here will live on in and through many lives she has touched. may she Rest In Peace til we ALL meet again. Our condolences to all the lovely family.

Kay Smith Rowe

January 16, 2021

Rosalyn, I loved reading the obituary for your Mom. What a fitting tribute to a life well lived. Her dedication to teaching children in a loving caring environment was an inspiration to me as a teacher. I know that you and your family will miss her but what wonderful memories you will have.
Sincerely, Kay

Bill and Linda Wood

January 16, 2021

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Helen. She was a great lady who demonstrated much love for her family.
When our daughter married Rodney III, she immediately felt at ease with her new family. Helen, with her gracious manner, readily accepted Jenny into the fold. For that alone, we have always held Helen in high esteem
When Rodney and Jenny moved their family to Oklahoma, we were sad with all of you. After the move, I talked with Helen on the phone and I could hear the sadness in her voice.
We were also sad, not because of the extra travel distance, but because Stewart and Mary Helen were now removed from the loving extended family they had always known . Helen was the proud and loving matriarch.
God bless you all in this time of sorrow.

John & Sue Garrison

January 15, 2021

Rodney, Rosalynn, and Roger.

We thank God that we had the privilege of knowing Helen! She was a wonderful women and "good and faithful servent". Our prayer is you will feel the presence of the Lord as he holds you in His hands.

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Helen Williams Landes was received into the arms of her savior on January 12, 2021. She was born on November 30, 1926, to Walter Emmett and Charlene Person Williams. She was raised on a beautiful farm along the banks of the Red River near Garland City, Arkansas. Helen loved this place of her childhood and always considered it her home.

After graduating from Garland City school, Helen attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, before graduating from the University of Arkansas. She married her husband, Rodney, in 1948 following his graduation from the University of Arkansas. Rodney was from Lewisville, just down the road from Garland City, and the two of them would spend the next 59 years together. Helen moved with Rodney to El Dorado in 1950. Here, Helen put down deep roots in the community and in the First Baptist Church, which she called her church home for the rest of her life.

Over the years that followed, Helen was a devoted wife and mother to her three children whose births spanned sixteen years from eldest to youngest. However, she was much more than this. She was instrumental in establishing the Children’s House of Learning, a Montessori school, in El Dorado, and was a founding and long-serving Board member of the South Arkansas Developmental Center for Children and Families. She became a teacher by commuting over several years to Southern Arkansas University (then known as Southern State) to receive her education degree. First, she was a teaching assistant to Glenn Callahan at Yocum Elementary, then she taught at the First Baptist Church Kindergarten for many years.

While teaching full time, Helen also served many worthy causes in her church and in the community. When there was a need, she was there to make a difference. She was integral in starting both the singles ministry and the prayer ministry at First Baptist Church. For her many volunteer efforts, Helen was recognized by the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce in 1995 as one of the “Five Who Care” honorees.
After retiring from teaching, Helen enjoyed a return to the family farm near Garland City. She and Rodney spent countless hours tending to the lovely grove of pecan trees grafted by her father so many years ago. Her later years were spent caring for Rodney, enjoying her grandchildren and great grandchildren and staying active and involved with her church, friends and family. With full hearts, we can truly say that Helen’s long, productive, and faithful life was well-lived, and her kindness and generosity touched many lives and made all those around her better.

Helen is predeceased by her parents, her husband, Rodney R. Landes, Sr., her sister, Martha Williams Murray, and brother-in-law, Thompson B. Murray, Jr. She is survived by her brother, Jack L. Williams of Little Rock, her children, Rodney, Jr. (Linda) of El Dorado, Rosalynn of Baton Rouge, and Roger (Shelley) of El Dorado, as well as four grandchildren (Rodney, III (Jenny) of Edmund, Oklahoma, Lesley Roberts (Stan) of Little Rock, Eli and Emmaline of El Dorado and four great grandchildren (Stewart, Mary Helen, Elli, and Ann Kelley).
A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Monday, January 18, 2021 at Wilson Cemetery in Lewisville, AR under the direction of Young’s Funeral Directors and with Rev. Jonathan Kelley officiating. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. at the cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to First Baptist Church of El Dorado, Arkansas Baptist Children’s Home, or South Arkansas Developmental Center for Children and Families.

Condolences may be expressed online at www.youngsfuneralhome.com