Helen Watkins Umphlet obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Helen Watkins Umphlet

May 7, 1926 - February 28, 2017

Obituary


Mrs. Helen Watkins Umphlet, Glenaire Retirement Community, Cary, NC passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. She was surrounded by family.
Born on May 7, 1926 in Vance County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Clifton Malcolm and Bertha Stainback Watkins.
After graduating from Aycock High School, she moved to Raleigh and attended secretarial school to become an administrative assistant. Employed within the North Carolina Judicial System, she was an administrative assistant to the North Carolina Supreme Court, until her retirement in June 1976 following thirty years of service.
In...

Mrs. Helen Watkins Umphlet, Glenaire Retirement Community, Cary, NC passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. She was surrounded by family.
Born on May 7, 1926 in Vance County, North Carolina, she was the daughter of the late Clifton Malcolm and Bertha Stainback Watkins.
After graduating from Aycock High School, she moved to Raleigh and attended secretarial school to become an administrative assistant. Employed within the North Carolina Judicial System, she was an administrative assistant to the North Carolina Supreme Court, until her retirement in June 1976 following thirty years of service.
In 1949 she married Irvin S. Bagwell who predeceased her in 1970. Helen was married to the Honorable Fentress Horner from May 1976 until his death in December 1990. Dr. Thomas Umphlet and Helen were married from June 1996 until his death in December 1997.
She was also predeceased by her brother, Earnest Malcolm (Mac) Watkins in January 1994 and her sister-in-law, Ruby Faulkner Watkins in January 2006.
As long as her health permitted, Helen was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. She served on the Board of Visitors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1999, she honored Dr. Umphlet by establishing the Helen Watkins and Thomas Leonard Umphlet Distinguished Professorship in Aging at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing.
She was one of the first residents of Glenaire Retirement Community moving there in 1992 at age 65. In addition to singing in the Glenaire Choral Group, she served on and chaired many committees at Glenaire. At the time of her death, she was the longest surviving resident.
Helen enjoyed music of all genres, gardening, playing bridge, traveling, fishing, being in the company of family and friends and helping others.
She is survived by her sister, Billie Jean Watkins Lambert of Tampa, FL. Nieces Angela Watkins Hall of Salisbury, NC, Sangie Bazemore Gardiner of Clearwater, TX, Luwanna Bazemore Brown of Tampa, FL and Florence Allen Stone of Cary, NC. Nephews include S. M. (Sam) Watkins of Henderson, NC, Mark Watkins of Raleigh, NC, Larry Bazemore of Tampa, FL, John Bazemore of Tampa, FL, William Umphlet of Live Oak, TX, Vincent Bellis of Greenville, NC, Douglas Bellis of Washington, DC, Fentress Horner of La Fayette, GA., and Bob Howard of Chapel Hill, NC. Also surviving her is Dr. Umphlet's step-son, Dale Swift, of Greensboro, NC and numerous grand nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Helen's remarkable life will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at Glenaire Retirement Community Auditorium. Burial will follow at 2:00 pm at Montlawn Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to show their love for Helen may do so by making a contribution to the Umphlet Scholarship Fund at First Presbyterian Church, 112 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh, NC 27601 or to The Presbyterian Homes Foundation, Inc., 2109 Sandy Ridge Road, Colfax, NC 27235. Please designate your Foundation contribution to be used for the benefit of Glenaire.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Editha Adams, Camille Lambe, Lori Bowers, Alicia Spence, Kotreece Morgan, Visiting Angels and the Nurses and Staff of Glenaire Retirement Community for their love, devotion, care and support of Helen during her thirty years of Parkinson's disease.
Arrangements are under the care of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh, NC 27605