Ivy “Irene” Helton peacefully left this life for her eternal home on Sunday, November 5, 2017 in Caney, Kansas. A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at Potts Chapel, in Caney, KS with Brad Sanders, officiating.
Irene was born in Elk County, Kansas, near Moline, on April 8, 1918. She was the third of six children born to Ernest “Bud” and Thressa “Alta” Gertrude (Robinson) DeMoss. In 1940, Irene married Walter Ray Songer. To this union, her only child was born, Ronald Ray Songer. The couple later divorced. Irene then married Ora Aaron Helton in 1945. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to California, living in several different locations, before settling in Bell Gardens.
Irene was very industrious, and worked outside the home much of her life. During World War ll, Irene worked for Boeing in Wichita as “Rosy Riveter” as she was tagged. In California, Irene worked as a waitress and assisted her husband in the daily operations of their 4-year vineyard adventure. Irene seemed to find her true niche as a child care worker at the Happy Day Nursery, where she worked for many years, caring for preschool children, and cooking hundreds of lunches, over the years for the children.
Irene and Ora decided to return to their native home in 1979, leaving California, and settling in Caney, Kansas. Irene then volunteered her time each weekday, assisting with meals, for Senior Services of Southeast Kansas. She loved working with “the old people” (not admitting that she was one of them), and continued to do so for approximately 20 years, until the meal site in Caney was closed. Irene then devoted her time volunteering at the First Christian Church, where she was a member for approximately 38 years. As she studied God’s Word and grew deeper in her faith, Irene decided that she wanted to be scripturally baptized, as it was her desire to be truly obedient to the commands of the Lord. At the age of 93, Irene was baptized.
Irene loved her family and spent countless hours babysitting her grandchildren, showering them with lots of love and baked goodies. Irene had a special bond with her only child, who became her primary caregiver, until the time of her death.
Irene is survived by a loving and grateful family; her son, Ron (Valerie) Songer, of rural Caney, Kansas and five grandchildren, Teresa (Alan) Crupper, of Pryor, Oklahoma, Ronda (Max) Bradbury, of Independence, Doug (Shrya) Songer of rural Caney Kansas, James (Susan) Kotoff, of Claremore, Oklahoma and Darren Songer, 12 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild. Irene is also survived by 2 sisters, Evelyn Eales of Bella Vista, Arkansas and Marilyn Jean Kaiser of Bellflower, California. Irene was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 48 years, Ora, 1 brother Ernest “Paul” DeMoss and 2 sisters, Leona Horning and Doris Robinson.
Irene will be laid to rest at the side of her husband, Ora, at Sunnyside Cemetery, Caney, Kansas. Memorials may be left with Potts Chapel or sent to Tyro Christian Church, to benefit M&M (Ministry-Minded) Kids, Children’s Ministry.
Sweet lady, Your smile will be truly missed.
John and Netta
John and Ranetta PfalserCaney, KS