Helen B. McCahan

January 7, 1930May 6, 2013

Helen Marie Beshore McCahan January 7, 1930 – May 6, 2013 Beloved mother, grandmother, and sister Helen Marie Beshore McCahan completed her journey home at the age of 83 on May 6, 2013 after a period of declining health. Helen was the daughter of Allen Augustus Beshore and Gail Marie Mourer Beshore. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 31 years, Maj. George Russell “Chap” McCahan, Jr., DVM, USA -Ret. and by her companion Walter “Bud” Koch. Left to cherish her memory are children Kim McCahan Batson (Grahm) of Chapel Hill, NC; Dale McCahan Brown (Marty) of Gardendale, AL; and G.R. “Luke” McCahan, III (Meredith) of Wilmington, NC; grandchildren Michael Brown, Robert Brown, Brittany Owen, Dylan Owen, Ian Batson (Rebecca), Jacob Batson, and Jessica Batson; sisters Charlotte Beshore Ahrens (Bob) and Erma Jean Beshore Schaffner; aunt Dora Mourer Miller; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Born January 7, 1930 at the family home in Manchester, Pennsylvania, Helen decided at a young age that she would become a nurse. Upon graduation from Manchester High in 1947, she headed to Philadelphia where she earned Associates and Bachelors degrees in nursing from Temple University (1950) and the University of Pennsylvania (1956). Helen met dashing young Air Force veteran Chap McCahan when he was dating one of her roommates, and they were married in January 1956. Helen worked as an orthopedic nurse, nursing instructor, and public health nurse to help educate Chap and had a baby at every school he attended: Clemson for undergrad (Kim); University of Georgia for veterinary school (Dale); and Colorado State to pursue a PhD (George). Family moves continued when Chap returned to the Air Force, later transferring to the Army. Helen was a volunteer nurse for numerous activities throughout her life, including Red Cross blood drives, church, and Girl Scout camps. She worked as a school nurse at Ft. Bragg, NC and returned to public health nursing in rural Southeast Alabama when Chap was assigned to and later retired out of Ft. Rucker, Alabama.

Helen remained in Alabama after Chap’s death until the passing of his mother, then returned to her hometown of Manchester, Pennsylvania. She lived with and cared for her father until his death while spending time with her sisters, childhood friends, and extended family. Her nephews especially enjoyed this phase of Helen’s life as her refrigerator was always stocked with beer and cheese for happy hour and she never turned down a party invitation. Helen was a member of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Manchester, Pa. She was also a member and past president of Susquehanna Lioness Club (PA). She was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels (both in PA and AL) as well as the Northeastern Food Pantry (PA). During her golden years, Helen treasured the companionship of the second love of her life, Bud Koch, who was a surrogate grandfather to the little ones who had either not known or could not remember their “Grand-Chappy.” Helen and Bud enriched each others’ lives through plays, travels, dinner with friends, church activities, watching Lawrence Welk, and simply spending time together. Helen returned to Alabama in 2005 following a stroke that slowed her down but never dimmed her spirit, sense of humor, love of dominos, penchant for red nail polish, or grayed her hair (no – it wasn’t dyed ). Helen never met a bowl (or cone) of ice cream she didn't like and when the chocolate disappeared too quickly (no matter how well Dale hid it), she always blamed it on visitors. While she immensely enjoyed her surprise 80th birthday party surrounded by friends and family far and near, she never quite forgave Kim for not stopping at Cracker Barrel on the trip up. She was lovingly cared for by Dale and her family, with frequent visits to Kim and George and yearly trips to Pennsylvania. Her children are eternally grateful to the PA kin for making her last trip home in June 2012 so memorable, especially visiting her last living aunt (Dora, age 95) and the big bash at Lowe’s pool. They also wish to thank all her caregivers, the staff of Covenant Place of Gardendale, the staff of Greenbriar at the Altamont for their professional and loving care of Helen during the last precious months of her life in this world, and New Beacon Hospice, who briefly guided the final journey home. Brother Mark Wood and Brother Mika Marcum officiating services. Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2013 at Rideouts Gardendale Chapel at 11 am. Viewing and visitation will be one hour prior. Burial will follow at Old Tabernacle Methodist Cemetery.


  • Visitation Saturday, May 11, 2013

Helen B. McCahan

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Kim Batson

May 16, 2013

Thank you Ken, Pat, and Pam. Bud was so very precious to Mom and our family. We had wonderful pictures of him and Mom at the service. He was the only grandfather any of my children knew. Kim McCahan Batson

May 10, 2013

We are so very sorry for your loss of Helen. She and Dad shared a very special relationship for a long time. She was a good friend of Pat and I, especially during the time of Dad's illness. We will always remember her fondly.

Ken and Pat Koch

Pam Grove

May 10, 2013

To the family of Helen, My sincere sympathy and prayers for all of you. Psalm 23. Pam Grove, Bud Koch's niece