Helen Dedeaux 1934-2017
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One has to wonder if Henrietta Darden and John Edward Jones knew that their sweet baby girl would touch so many lives. Their only child, Helen Elizabeth, whose name means “shining light” and “God is my satisfaction,” was born in Chester, Texas on February 8, 1934. Family and friends all heard stories from her fond childhood memories from Chester and later Beaumont, before her family moved to Houston to make their home.
Helen graduated from Phillis Wheatley High School and decided attend college at Prairie View A & M University, where she played trumpet in the band. After college, she decided to pursue a career in education. Early in her career, she also operated a nursery school, with an emphasis on dance and the arts. For 37 years, she dedicated her life to teaching — mostly second grade at Franklin Elementary in Houston Independent School District on Houston’s East Side. Her children recalled how dedicated she was to her school, even commuting as far away as Spring to continue teaching at Franklin. Her students held her in high esteem and she adored them.
She met her husband, Alvin George Dedeaux, while out bowling with friends and they married August 11, 1963.
Although Helen was close to her many cousins growing up, she was an only child and always dreamt of having a big family. The Jones-Dedeaux union produced six children: Alvin George II, Mary Ellen, Tracy Nanette, Adrienne Elizabeth, Stephanie Renée, and Helene Consuella.
Everyone knew Helen loved children, especially her own. Loving, caring, respectful, lady-like, wise and protective are words they feel suited their mother best. Her life revolved around her family, being sure to love each child in a special way. She sewed the girl’s Easter dresses and Christmas outfits, as sewing was one of her favorite past times. Cooking was also close to Helen’s heart. Her dinner rolls and peach cobbler will not soon be forgotten! On many a night before a holiday family meal, Mr. and Mrs. Dedeaux might be up half the night smoking meats on their pit or otherwise preparing to welcome guests. They especially enjoyed their children returning home with friends to join holiday dinners as they grew up and created lives of their own. There was always enough room at the table.
Helen learned to appreciate fine clothing from her parents and her time spent working at Battelstein’s in Houston during summer break from Prairie View. She collected china and crystal glassware (she was especially skilled at finding her favorite collectibles at garage sales and thrift shops).
Despite having a career and family, Helen made time to continue her education and volunteer for her church. She completed courses in education at Texas Southern University, often taking classes in the evenings and during summer breaks. She also volunteered her time as secretary and vacation bible school teacher at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, where her father was pastor.
Although she had learned many lessons worth sharing throughout the years, she offered advice to her children gently, and was never judgmental.
Helen will be remembered for her kind demeanor and gentle spirit. The bible speaks of virtuous woman and it says: She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all! Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. (Proverbs 31:25-31, NLT)
We can rejoice and be glad knowing that she has received her heavenly reward!
Helen has joined in heaven, her husband Alvin George Dedeaux, and parents Henrietta Darden Jones and the Reverend John Edward Jones.
Precious memories will linger for those who remain: her children: Alvin George Dedeaux, II (Lenee), Mary Ellen Dedeaux-Swinton (Jeffrey), Tracy Nanette Dedeaux, Adrienne Elizabeth Dedeaux-Solomon (Kelton), Stephanie Renée Dedeaux (Charlie Keene), and Helene Consuella Dedeaux (Rodney Jones).
And her grandchildren: Mila Alexandra Doiron, Sadie Elizabeth Dedeaux, Ruby Renée Dedeaux, Jeremy Holmes Swinton, Sydney Elizabeth Swinton, Kevin Cees deJong, Nicholas Solomon, Farrah Elizabeth Solomon, Camille Elizabeth Keene, Madeleine Louise Keene, Claudia Marianne Keene, Jaleel Ahmad Dedeaux, Nadia Taylor Jones and Roman Jamal Jones.