Helen Joan Cranford
January 13, 1934 – December 21, 2020
Helen Joan Taylor Cranford was born on January 13, 1934 in Portland, Oregon, to the union of Joseph and Juanita Taylor. She was raised in Gresham, Oregon, and was the eldest of four siblings. Helen attended Washington High School in Portland and after graduating from high school, she earned and received her degree in Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN).
Helen began her lengthy career as an LPN, working for (Legacy) Emanuel Hospital for over 31 years. She loved caring for the sick and using her “nursing knowledge” as she cared for family, friends and loved ones.
In 1965, Helen married Lawrence Cranford and they were married for over 42 years until separated by his death. Together, they raised their three children; Mark, Lisa and Lynette, and were blessed with seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Helen was active in her community and played a vital role in the lives of her children and grandchildren. Whether she was serving as a Cub Scout or Camp Fire Leader, teaching Children’s Church, or volunteering on the school PTA, her presence was noticeable. And, she was determined to keep her children involved and learning new things. Swimming classes, Sewing lessons…oh, and let’s not forget Sunday school on Sunday morning to learn about Jesus.
Being the devoted mother and grandmother that she was, Helen decided to retire early to spend time with and love on her adorable, beautiful grandchildren. She absolutely loved being a grandma. They would bake cookies, go to the beach and celebrate birthdays together. Later in life, she was blessed with the added joy of 4 great grandchildren who adored her and loved calling her “G.G.”.
Helen was a member of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church where she was actively involved in the Oasis Ministry. She was also a Life Group Leader in the Life Group Ministry, where she formed lifelong friendships with a group of powerful, praying women of God. She loved learning about God and studying His Word. When praying with her group of “prayer warriors,” she knew that “anything was possible,” with God!
Helen enjoyed spending time watching “Steve Harvey” on Family Feud, reading God’s word, watching the sunset at the beach, playing Bunco with friends and shopping—especially at Nordstrom, which was one of her favorite places to shop. She would often reflect upon how significant her family was because family was everything to her. In her twilight years, Helen took pleasure in the sweeter things in life: chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake and brownies—anything with chocolate –topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and served with a cup of hot black coffee and a warm cozy blanket… yummy!
On Monday, December 21, 2020, Helen was called home to be with her Lord and Savior.
She leaves to cherish her memory: her siblings, Joseph Taylor and Frances Marie Johnson; her children, Mark Smith and Lisa (Ron) Parks; her grandchildren, Michael O'Conner, Markis Cranford-Deloney, Ronnie Parks Jr., Lawrencia Cranford-Taylor, Jalisa Parks, Jazzmen Smith and Alijah Cranford-Haile; And, great grandchildren, Lyveetrius Cranford, Noah Johnson, Alijah Cranford-Haile Jr., and Ali'as Cranford-Haile.
Helen was preceded in death by her late husband Lawrence, daughter Lynette Cranford, her parents, sister Juanita Yvonne Charles and a host of aunts, uncles and other relatives.
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Friday, January 8, 2021
Helen Joan Cranford
January 8, 2021
At the mention of Mrs. Cranford's name, I immediately get a picture of her beautiful, infectiousness smile and dimples. She had a gentle sprit and passionate love for the Lord, Jesus Christ. Whenever I saw her, she always welcomed me with a warm hug and that unforgettable smile. No doubt, she will be missed by those who knew her.
January 2, 2021
Helen Cranford was a wonderful, kind, caring and very patient woman. She was one of the first people my mother meet when she moved to Portland in 1960. After introducing herself and a brief conversation she told her, we’re going to be best friends, and they were until the Lord called Lois home. Helen had permission to whoop me as a child, but never did and everybody knows she had many reasons as Lisa and I got in more than our share of mischief from crib to adulthood. I shall miss Helen, but I trust God’s word, We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
January 1, 2021
Mrs. Cranford has always been a Blessing to me! She was one of the first "Moms" I met when I moved to Portland a number of years ago and she was always so loving and kind. I remember some our fun times (Crystal & Tupperware & birthday parties, weddings, baby showers - you name it!) but my most precious and special memories are of her serving and loving God and her beautiful smile!