Helen Grace Price Steck
Born: February 15, 1921 — Died: May 8, 2019 (98 Years old) widow of Arthur John “Jack” Steck
Helen was born Tuesday, February 15, 1921, in Cleburne, Texas to Hershel Cairo Price and Stella E. Price (née Seate). Her father worked as a machinist for the Frisco Railroad, and the family settled in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. She first met the boy who would become her husband of 69 years in 7th grade while attending school in Sapulpa. Both were student leaders; she was active in Student Council, Yearbook, Latina Society, Girl Reserves, and a Majorette of the drum corps, and he was an athlete excelling in football.
Helen graduated in 1938 and then attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville for one semester. Then attended Oklahoma A & M (Stillwater, OK) for the fall semester of 1939. Ultimately, she returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Helen and Jack continued their courtship while Jack attended the University of Tulsa. In 1942, Jack joined the US Navy serving until 1945. Helen and Jack married in 1943. Following his service in the Navy, they settled in Tulsa, where Jack finished his BA.
Helen and Jack moved to Anthony, New Mexico in 1948. In 1952, they moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico and Jack began his teaching career in the Gadsen and Carlsbad School Districts. Helen and Jack had two daughters. The young family moved to Albuquerque in 1960, so Jack could pursue being a guidance counselor in the Albuquerque Public Schools. Helen worked as a school secretary in the 1960's at both Mission Avenue and Stronghurst Elementary. Jack would eventually retire, and the couple spent their retirement in long road trips, wearing out two VW vans and a small Toyota Chinook.
In Albuquerque, Helen indulged her love for live performances holding season tickets for the “Pops” at Popejoy as well as The Albuquerque Little Theatre for decades. Helen was always dressed stylishly and sewed beautiful clothes for her daughters. And she truly loved New Mexico culture and cuisine expanding her cooking skills from pot roast to posole. Both loved hot New Mexico Chile, which probably contributed substantially to their longevity in life.
Helen was rooted in faith, holding that divine compassion existed for everyone; she joined the congregation of Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church while The Rev. Earl Harvey was a pastor. She remained a member for over sixty years until her death. She also volunteered at the All Faith’s Home and St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Helen and Jack complimented each other in beautiful ways. She was a quiet, steady, fortis matrem suam, anchoring her family in a comfortable home. Both enjoyed watching football together. Helen was the chief initiator and planner for the many camper trips they took in retirement. While Helen was the planner, she always had a willing sidekick in her husband, Jack.
Helen is survived by her daughters, Julianne (Albuquerque), Anita (Silverton, CO); grandsons, AJ & Trey Delap (Henderson, NV), Rusty (Silverton, CO) and T.J. Melcher (Greeley, CO); great-grandchildren, Julianne, Jack, (Delap, Henderson, NV) Marie and Bonnie (Melcher, Silverton, CO)
A Memorial Service has been planned for Sunday, September 8, 2019, 2:00 p.m. at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa Ave NE, 87106. Instead of flowers, we believe Helen would be best honored by donations of money or time to Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church (5301 Ponderosa Ave, NE, 87106) for their many services aiding Albuquerque's homeless.
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