Helen Virginia Smith Bruening peacefully went to her heavenly reward on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 in Irving, TX, after living a long and full life of 104 years. She was born in Fordyce, AR, on November 16, 1913, grew up in Pine Bluff, AR, and then lived in Shreveport, LA, from 1950 to 2011 when she moved to Irving to be closer to family.
Helen graduated from Pine Bluff (AR) High School in 1931 and from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR, in 1936. She married Walter Bruening of Jackson, MO, in Little Rock, AR, in 1937, and he was Chief Mechanical Officer for the Kansas City Southern Railroad when he retired. Helen and Walter had been married sixty years when he died in 1997.
When one lives to be 104, it indeed offers a rare opportunity for children to actually know and love their great-grandmother! Such is the case with Helen Bruening, better known as Mama, Nana, Grandma, and GG. Helen had lived a long and full life when she slipped away to Jesus. Just think of all the discoveries and advancements that were made during her lifetime!
Helen was a school teacher before she had children and became a homemaker. She did volunteer work through her church, First Baptist Church of Shreveport, and through the Shreveport Symphony Guild, which named her Volunteer of the Year in 1999. Helen held offices in the Women’s Missionary Union at her church and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She was an excellent seamstress and an avid reader. An accomplished speaker, she taught elocution and gave book reviews and readings. Helen was always active and participated in aerobics classes three times a week up until the age of 97. She taught Sunday School and Bible studies and had a joyful faith in Jesus Christ.
Helen was also preceded in death by her parents, George Dawes and Pallie Guess Smith, formerly of Pine Bluff, AR; her sister, Eulalee Smith Greene and her husband, Farrin, formerly of Hartsville, TN; her daughter, Patricia Anne Bucheimer and her husband, Richard, formerly of Frederick, MD; and, her son, Walter Howard Bruening and his wife, Diane, formerly of Galesburg. IL. She is survived by her daughter, Beca DeLoach and her hus-band Clyde of Irving, TX; Grandchildren, Gordon DeLoach and his wife Kristin of Cedar Hill, TX, Collins DeLoach and his wife Holly of Lewisville, TX, Maria DeVries of New York City, NY, Jason Bruening and his wife Nicole of Huntsville, AL, Jared Bruening and his wife Kari of Galesburg, IL, Elaine Cagnina and her husband Shawn of Boston, MA and Natalie Collins and her husband Chris of Boston, MA. Helen is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.
A graveside service for family members was held at 9:30 a.m. at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport, on Monday, October 29, 2018. A Celebration of the Life of Helen Bruening was held at 10:30 a.m. in the Chapel at First Baptist Church Shreveport, 543 Ockley Drive, Shreveport, 71106. In lieu of flowers (please!), memorials may be made to the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church in Shreveport or the charity of your choice