Helen LaNore was
born to Margaret and Reynolds J. Couture in Detroit
Michigan, April 8th, 1926. A year later her parents
were divorced and Helen
was raised by her Grandparents, Joseph and Lillian Alphonse.
They raised Helen with much love and taught her strong
family values. At an early age Helen and her Grandparents
moved to Battle Creek and later to Muskegon Michigan
where Helen resides with her family today. Helen and
Ken's courtship began when they met at a Valentines
Dance at Sacred Heart Parish. Six months later, after
Ken got out of boot camp, they married. Soon after the
Navy sent Ken to be stationed in Coronado California.
The distance grew to be to much for them and Helen took
a three day train ride to see Ken in California. It
turned out to be an act of love on her part as the train
ride was a grueling experience. With the war going on
at the time the soldiers had first priority on seating.
Helen spent much of her three day trip sitting on her
suitcase. It was in California that Helen became pregnant
with their first child Denny. Followed by three more
sons and four daughters. Their home was always a buzz
of activity with little feet's running here and there
and everywhere! If spending the night at Helen's you
could always count on one of the young siblings crawling
in bed with you. I'm still trying to figure out which
one always wet the bed? <GRIN>
Helen is a Gold Star Mother. Her first born son, Denny
was killed in July of 1966 in Vietnam. Along with her
son, a little piece of Helen died that day.. for there
is always a special place in a mother's heart for her
FIRST born. Helen loves all her children the same way,
but each one has his or hers special.. 'private'.. place
in her heart. With Denny, it was Helen's 'first' look
at the Miracle of life. A mother never forgets that
first time..never! The family was raised with much love
and respect for one another. And by all means they knew
how to have fun!! The children used to put on family
plays in the basement and Mom and Dad would always attend
as if it was the Grand Opening on Broadway. To this
day, many in the family are involved in some form of
entertainment for the community. You could always count
on one heck of a family dinner on Sunday after mass.
It was a time to slow down and enjoy one another. They
gave their children the gifts of self respect and confidence
in themselves to do anything they put their minds to.
Gene's memories of his Mom.
"If you were to ask Helen how she wants to be remembered
she would tell you
"a mother of eight and never late!" and giggle.
She prides herself on
raising eight children and still being on time for appointments.
loves to do most now is get together with the entire
family. She beams when
all of her children, grand children and great grand
children get together.
She loves to watch 'you kids' (referring to her eight
children) interact together. There is always plenty
of good clean fun because everyone loves everyone so
much. It is a barrel of laughs from start to finish.
family doesn't need alcohol to have fun, we're all a
bunch of nuts anyway.
There is no other family in the world like ours"
she has been known to say.
"Our family is so close". She takes little
credit for the fantastic job she did raising her children.
Another thing Helen likes to do in her spare time is
to paint. It is her
goal to leave everyone in the family a painting that
she has created.
"Something for you to remember me by" she
says. She has incredible talent as
an artist. When she was shown one of her paintings after
it was professionally framed she said "I painted
that?" "I can hardly believe it!". Modesty
is one of Helen's many good qualities. Now in her senior
years and experiencing eye problems, you can still see
the glimmer in her eyes when "you kids" come
to visit. With not many material possessions she will
still say "I am the richest woman in the world."
Little does she know, she makes all of our lives richer.
Love you Mom. Gene"
Her husband Ken
suffered a stroke in 1975 and never completely recovered.
died a year and a half later in June of 1977. Since
then Helen has pretty much lived her life for her children.
Helen has done many
special things in her life but I think her greatest
achievement is her children. They never have to worry
about being alone for
they always know they can count on one another for support.
Alot of familles
like this don't realize how lucky they are but not this
family. Taking each other for granted is not something
they do and are very thankful for the bonds that tie
Helen is the Grandmother
of 19 grandchildren and 10 great Grandchildren. She
spends her days dividing her time up between her children
visiting them on a
regular basis. It's not unusual for her to pop in...watch
a good movie with the family...and fall asleep on the
floor for the night. There is no doubt, in her kids
minds, that they are loved and cherished! In return,
they have passed on all these wonderful qualities to
their own children. Such is.. The Circle of Life!
By Bev Bouchard