Helen Cowley Williams

September 18, 1927 ~ January 27, 2020

Helen Venola Cowley Williams passed away on Monday, January 27, 2020 surrounded by those who called her Mom, Grandma, and Great-grandma. Helen was born on September 18, 1927 in Venice, UT to Venola Ohlwiler Cowley and Francis Charles Cowley. 

Helen grew up in a loving home with two brothers and a sister. She was the oldest of the four. 

Helen loved Venice and especially spending her time helping at her grandfather’s store. When she was 12, she moved from Venice to Heber City, UT as a result of the depression and her family’s need to take care of her maternal grandfather who was severely injured in a farming accident. 

She loved Heber and attended school from sixth to 12th grade. She had fond memories of her friends who have preceded her in death.

After high school, she attended LDS Business College and worked a short time in Salt Lake City. She then felt the call to serve the Lord and was called to the Texas Louisiana Mission (1949-1950) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

She learned to love the people of Texas and serving the Lord, and one special missionary. Shortly after her mission she married that elder, Richard Shelton Williams. 

After Richard graduated from BYU, Helen and Richard spent a few years in the military in Gunther, AL and Austin, TX.

In August of 1957, Helen and Richard began their life as workers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of the Seminary and Institute system. They served in Price, UT; Monticello; Granger, UT; San Antonio, TX; Edmonton, Canada; and Cedar City, UT.

Helen was called to teach the 6 a.m. early morning seminary students in San Antonio (17 years) and in Edmonton (three years). 

She learned to know and truly love ALL her students. She still heard from many of her students who told her she changed their lives for the better, and many of them from 50 years ago were part of the congregation at her funeral. 

Helen learned the piano from her mother. All of Helen’s adult life, she taught piano lessons to a multitude of students everywhere she lived. She blessed thousands of students and families with a love of music and the ability to express that love. 

Her musical talents led her to organize and participate in many venues where the music helped facilitate feeling the spirit and uplifting everyone. 

Helen’s greatest joy was her family, and she was blessed with five boys and one girl. Her children loved her for her example and commitment to the Gospel, her happy nature, her unconditional love, and her musical gifts, including organizing her children for musical performances. 

Helen also loved serving those around her. In fact, days before her death, she was walking around the neighborhood and checking on the welfare of her neighbors. 

The most important of all her desires was living the Gospel, and for her children to live it as well. She constantly taught the Gospel to them in word and by her example. 

Helen is preceded in death by her waiting husband, Richard, and several grandchildren. 

She is survived by her children, Richard (Ja Nae), Mark, Gary (Virginia), Scott (Joanna), Matthew (Carla), and Rebecca (Michael Wahl); two daughters-in-law; 20 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. 

Mom would like us to express her love to ALL of you she has known during her life. 

Services were held Saturday, February 1 in Cedar City, UT. Interment at the Heber City Cemetery.

Online condolences can be sent at www.sumortuary.com

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
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