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Born Sept. 15, 1920, at Romance, Mo. Helen Pauline Price, of Ava, was born Sept. 15, 1920, at Romance, Mo., in Ozark County. She passed away from a stroke on Feb. 27, at 4:40 p.m., in the home of her daughter, Andrea (Sage) Cook), surrounded by her family.
She was the youngest child of Mary Magdeline Dunnegan Frazier and Simeon David Frazier. She walked, often barefooted, to grade school at Grabeel, and later attended high school at Gainesville.
On May 9, 1942, she and Audie Ray Price caught a bus to Mtn. Home, Ark., where they were married. She and Audie had three living children.
Helen worked briefly during World War II packing ammunitions at the Lake City Arsenal near Independence, then later became a full-time homemaker. At retirement in 1971, Helen and Audie returned to the Noble community to live. It was there that she most loved to live and was often heard to say that she never saw a hill she didn’t want to climb and explore. She loved the land and felt most close to the earth when gardening. She could grow anything.
Helen was a founding member of the Ava Farmers Market, at times baking as many as 40 pies in a day for market. She was an early contributor to the Seed Saver’s Exchange, an organization dedicated to the preservation of heirloom seed. She sponsored several “Wild Food Walks” where she freely shared her vast knowledge of native medicinal and edible plants with anyone willing to participate.
Most recently, she provided heirloom varieties to Baker Creek Seed Co. and was very proud to see her grandmother’s “Molly Frazier” beans made available to the entire world through their catalog.
Helen was respected as a rich resource of knowledge. During this past summer she was interviewed by graduate students from the University of Missouri who were researching the history of women’s gardening practices in the Ozarks during the Great Depression. Helen was the Noble news correspondent for the Ozark County Times for many years. She was interested in genealogy and loved to fish and hunt arrowheads.
Helen loved animals — especially cats— and never allowed a stray to go hungry. She was a strong advocate for spaying/neutering pets and used her limited resources to care for all that came her way. She was happiest with a kitty in her arms. The picture above was taken of her and her cat, Cotton, on her 85th birthday.
She is survived by one son, Norman Dean Price and wife, Huba, of Bates City; two daughters, Andrea Jean (Sage) Cook and husband, Robert, of Ava, and Mary Lou Price and partner, Jackie Stilgenbauer, also of Ava; many grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; a lifelong friend, Glenda Graham Grisham; a special devoted friend, Marian Wiltfong; other relatives and many, many friends.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Audie; two stillborn infants; their grandson, Landon; and a dear friend, Fred Adam.
Her family, friends and Community Hospice of Mtn. Grove provided end-of-life care. Doctors and nurses of St. John’s Hospital also provided exceptional in-patient care during her stay.
Graveside services will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, March 3, at the Peters Cemetery, with Bro. E.J. Hampton and Rev. Oren Alcorn officiating.
Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Barnes Family Funeral Home, Ava.