Helen Driver Douglas
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Helen Driver Douglas
  • January 28, 1927 - November 30, 2017
  • Richmond, Virginia

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Helen Daisy Driver Douglas passed from this life into the next November 30, 2017, but she did not go without leaving her mark. She once teasingly posted a cartoon on her daughter's bedroom door that depicted a baby stacking multiple items on top of each other to get to a cookie jar that had been placed supposedly out of reach. The baby smiled, eating the cookie, and the punchline was: "Where there's a cookie there's a way!" This was very much one of Helen's philosophies. She was born in Arp, TX January 28, 1927 to Mollie Chappell Driver and James Henry Driver, who preceded her in death. They had a family of 10 children, 4 sisters and 5 brothers on a family farm in the Depression, where she learned principles of hard work, love of family, and responsibility. She was told as a child that she should, "Go to college." As she came of age, she discovered that her father had meant business college, as college was not for women. She was disappointed but undeterred. She graduated from business college, and then she graduated from University of Texas, in 1952. She was the only one of her siblings to graduate from college. There she met and married her husband of 42 years, James Hugh Douglas, Sr., who preceded her in death in 1993. They had three children, and as a mother, she was a "force of nature" always looking for ways to challenge and support her children. They traveled and camped at many national and state parks. Vacations were more than just fun. They began at the local library as research projects. She taught her children music and tennis. She supported each of her children's interests and pushed them to do their best. Even when the car was packed, there was always room for rocks and time for collecting. When her husband was out of town and her youngest daughter wanted to build a tree house, she got out the saw and built it. Most importantly, she taught her children about faith.
A fiercely loyal and dedicated Christian, her faith was demonstrated by example through regular Bible study, prayer, church attendance, and many mission outreach activities. She was active in First Baptist Church in Richardson, TX for much of the first years of her marriage. She, her husband, "Jim", and family moved to Fairfax in 1971, and they became active at Parkwood Baptist Church. She was also active in a neighborhood Bible study. She made many dear and lifelong friends. When she moved to Richmond in 2004, she joined Bon Air Baptist Church with her son. She was an active participant in church activities until her health prevented it.
Professionally, she had an eclectic career. Teaching was a passion for her, but she had a thirst for lifelong learning. A Master's degree in Counseling and Human Development from Virginia Tech was awarded to her in 1987. She worked for NEC and later for the Virginia Electoral Board. Throughout her career, she was active in the field of home economics and active in her local chapter of HEIH and HEHC. Memberships were held in Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa.
Loving, patient and kind are words used to describe her by family and friends, but also feisty and opinionated. She was greatly loved, and her time here on earth is cherished. She will be sorely missed. She is preceded in death by her parents and husband. She was also preceded in death by her brothers and sisters: Walter Driver, Virgil Driver, Lois Driver Kubena, Dorothy Driver Finch, Horace Driver, Eloise Driver Dilworth, Allie B. Driver Dart, James Driver, Jr., and Hiram Driver. She is survived by her three children: Linda Douglas Monyak, James Hugh Douglas, Jr., and Melissa "Missy" Douglas Landrum. She is survived by seven grandchildren: Rachel Pan, Julia Monyak, Rebecca Landrum, James Landrum III, Nicki Elliott, Kay Douglas, and Jazmine Douglas. She is also survived by five great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. One niece, Jan Dilworth Cofield will be present for the service.
Helen always had the will and always found a way to make things happen. She leaves a legacy that will never be forgotten.