She was born on Oct. 19, 1920, in Pasadena, Calif., the third of five children born to Clavert May and Lottie Aleen Briscoe. She married Melvin John Zahner in 1939 and they were blessed with five children. They later divorced, and in 1966 she re-married to David R. Grabau. Helen worked for North American Aviation in California for more than 20 years.
She loved spending time with her family and friends, traveling, gardening, crafts, and was an accomplished seamstress. In her later years she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and in 2005 was relocated from Huntington Beach, Calif., to Moab to be cared for by her daughter, Ginny Leech, and her family. One of her favorite things to do in Moab was to get cookies from “The Cookie Lady” (Jeannie) at City Market bakery. She enjoyed visiting with people of all ages and always had a smile for anyone in need (unless she was sticking her tongue out at you instead)!
We will miss her wonderful laugh, her quirky sense of humor, her trusted wisdom, her loving hugs, pats on the back, dancing with her in the living room and most of all, hearing her sing her favorite song, “Bicycle Built For Two.” We will forever cherish the time we shared with her.
She was welcomed into Heaven by her parents; three brothers; one sister; two husbands; her son Johnny; her daughter Merrily; two sons-in-law; three grandchildren; and her loving Dachshund, Katie.
She is survived by her daughter, Virginia (Ginny) Leech; two sons, Bruce (Janet) Zahner, Steve (Amy) Zahner; three stepdaughters; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Friday, April 5, at 6 p.m., at the Spanish Valley Mortuary Chapel. A burial of the ashes will take place at a later date in California.
Our family would like to thank the many caregivers, family and friends who were so kind, loving, and generous in helping us care for her at home for so many years. We could not have done it without all of you.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SpanishValleyMortuary.com.