Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home

56 Northwest Blvd., Newton, NC


Helen Marlow Rhyne

May 29, 1933November 7, 2019

Helen Beatrice Marlow Rhyne, age 86, died Thursday, November 7, 2019.

She was born in Catawba County May 29, 1933 to the late John Burton Marlow and Nora Bolick Marlow.

Helen graduated at Hickory High School and Lenoir Rhyne University. She was employed as a secretary at Sears and First United Methodist Church and teacher at Hildebran Elementary School. Following her marriage to William Lowrance Rhyne in 1959, the couple moved to Catawba where they raised three children. During those years, Helen was active, with her family, in the Catawba United Methodist Church teaching in Sunday school, Bible School, Christmas programs and was Chairman of Council on Ministries. She also organized and led a racially integrated Girl Scout Troop sponsored by the Women’s Society for Christian Service and was presented a life membership.

At midlife, facing empty-nest syndrome, she found part time work at Belk’s. In 1985, the Town of Catawba Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historical Places. She had recently purchased a 1905 store building at a low-bid auction that was opened as Treasures of Catawba. Also, she and husband, Bill, were founding members in the newly formed Town of Catawba Historical Assoc., Inc. Helen realized at that time she had a God-given opportunity to work toward the preservation of the local history. She diligently invested her time, talent, and resources to this task for over twenty five years. In 2003, the Dr. Q.M. Little House Museum was opened and many other homes and structures were restored by the owners. Helen accepted the Governor’s Award “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine” on behalf of all who had contributed to the success of the project.

In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by brothers, Richard B. “Dick” Marlow and James W. Marlow; her sister, Nancy Marlow Bunch; and a niece, Judith Marlow Windom.

Those left to share her memory include her loving and devoted husband of 60 years, William L. “Bill” Rhyne of Kingston Residence of Hickory, NC; sons, John Whitener Rhyne and wife, Rebeca of Hickory, NC, William Nelson Rhyne of Catawba, NC; daughter, Julia Ann Rhyne Deming and husband, Doug of Buchanan, VA; sister, Gladys Marlow Moore of Taylorsville, NC; grandchildren, Charlene Deming and husband, Jeff of Durham, NC, Douglas Deming of Poland, Kaylyn Banerjee and husband, Kush of Washington DC, Eli Rhyne and Stephen Rhyne of Catawba; great-grandchildren, Sabine Banerjee and George Glenn Deming; step-grandchildren, Carolina Martinez Heard, Lupe, Jacqueline and Kaylee Martinez of Hickory, NC; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The funeral service will be at 3:00 p.m., on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Catawba United Methodist Church in Catawba, with Rev. Stephen Shytle officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

The family will receive friends prior to the service from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. at the church.


  • Receiving of Friends and Family Tuesday, November 12, 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Helen Marlow Rhyne

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keith bunch

November 12, 2019

helen rhyne was my aunt--great lady of the historical arts, amazing ethics, raised 3 great children--john, julia and william. she always hosted great events at her home and attended many family events with her relatives over the years.......she was a founder in the historical catawba society, a proponent of the future of the historical past of catawba's past--she founded businesses, helped stabilize the town's infastructure, and leaves a legacy that will endeavor the current architecture of catawba's heartbeat. your expertise and merchandising of quality antiques, and your business acumen with your main street store will live forever in my mind as what downtown catawba represents--quality, antiquity, and longevity.

historical helen, we cherish you, remember you and enjoy the legacy you have given us.

keith, lisa and krae bunch