Helen Ann Duty O’Briant left this earth Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Born on July 19, 1929 in Newkirk, Oklahoma, she was the true pride and joy of her parents Henry A. and Esther Duty. The family was catholic by faith. They lived in Abilene, Texas where she grew up working hard, helping her mother around the house with whatever she could, as well as helping her father with his carpentry work. She was always eager to learn.
Helen married Marion Palmer (Tuffie) O’Briant on February 15, 1947. After being raised only child, she discovered a new family dynamic when she married into a family with 13 siblings. She enjoyed traveling this great state with her husband and children, visiting family, and enjoying the annual O’Briant family reunion. Helen and Tuffie were married for 40 years, before Tuffie left us to go and be with our Lord in April 1987.
Helen was a loving and faithful woman, a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. In addition to being a blissful homemaker, she also enjoyed working outside the home as she did at Republic National Bank for many years before her retirement. She loved her children fiercely and without end, always ensuring they were taken care of, and ceaselessly making sure they knew they were loved; she never missed a beat. Helen and Tuffie lived in Abilene, Baird and Irving, Texas. In 2014 she moved to Waxahachie to be closer to her daughter, Linda.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Linda and her husband Steve; granddaughter Tracy and husband Chris, grandson Steve (Scooter) and wife Shelly, and grandson Keith and wife Stacy. Her great-granddaughters are Savanna, Macy, Ashley, Clara, and Railynn and great-grandson Richard and wife Audrey and great grandsons Ryan and Bo. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and other extended family.
Helen is proceeded in death by parents Henry Arch and Esther, husband Tuffie, sons Raymond and James, daughter-in-law Pat and grandson Ray.
Many things were true of Helen. The consummate matriarch, Helen was the host of family gatherings and holidays. She always found a way to make everyone feel special and paid careful attention so she could share her years of wisdom. She was a hard worker with quite the sense of humor. She never failed to find the perfect opportunity to crack the best jokes, but if one thing is true, Helen loved her family. Particularly her grandchildren. She beamed with pride when it came to each and every one of them, whether it was Scooter’s quick whit and dedicated work-ethic, or Tracy’s nurturing attitude and determination to take care of everyone around her, or Keith’s way of always putting his wife and family first, she loved them all.
Helen and her daughter Linda were the best of best friends, always finding the time to call one another, spend time together and even to poke fun at each other. Linda’s husband Steve was also someone near and dear to Helen. She adored the man he was while always making her laugh. Steve would place the Dallas Morning News at her front door every morning, knowing she would bring him the “funnies” on Sunday. He made sure that Helen was always included in all the family activities, that she had a place in their home, a seat at the table, and would join them wherever they were going.
Until they meet again, Helen will be deeply missed by her family here, but we know that she was met with big hugs, smiles, and tears of joy when she was reunited with her parents, husband, two sons, daughter-in-law and grandson.