Helen was the youngest child of Raymond E Wardleigh and Bertha Mae Ballingham. She was born and raised on 23rd Street in Ogden, Utah along with her siblings Gloria (Parker), George, and Dorothy (Tak). She grew up knowing many of her relatives since they came from Grouse Creek and stayed in her parent’s home while attending secondary schools.
Helen earned a BA in English literature from BYU where she was nominated for valedictorian. When she finished, she realized that about all she could do with that degree was teach. She did NOT want to do that. So, she became a computer programmer. She used COBOL while she enjoyed 20 years working for the Genealogical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Two major highlights in Helen’s life involved going on tours with author, Gerald N. Lund, her friend Deena Nay, sister, Gloria, and others. They went to Egypt where they rode camels and visited the pyramids. They went to the Holy Land, and saw places where Jesus lived and died. They went to several places in Europe. They visited Berlin, Germany, where they retrieved pieces of the Berlin wall that had just come down.
Helen had a subtle, self-deprecating wit. When asked why she never wanted to get married she responded, “I figured that anyone who was stupid enough to want to marry ME was too stupid for me to want to marry THEM.”
Helen faced many fears. She never learned to drive (even grocery carts.) She took buses to and from work. She read all the side effects for any medication she took, and often refused to take any medication that had adverse side effects.
She often quoted a line from Steamboat, 1936: “I'm tired of living, but feared of dying”; but through many health challenges like “Old Man River”, she just kept “rolling along”.
Heidi and Mike Perry would like to thank those who have kindly cared for Helen at Barton Creek and other facilities.
Graveside Service: June 22, 2022 at the Bountiful City Cemetery at 11am.