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“My deepest sympathy to the Family. She was a great lady.. ”
1 of 6 | Posted by: Donna Cottrell - Bonham, TX

“Helen Browning was the heart of all the best things about Melissa. We are indebted to her tireless efforts to begin and support still the Melissa...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Lorelei Perkins - Melissa, TX

“I always loved seeing Aunt Helen. She would greet you with a pinch on the cheeks while biting her tongue. I admired her since of fashion and...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Susan Symm - Tomball, TX - Family

“My mother, Lynn Davis , was a member of the Pioneer Club. She loved going and the group, spoke of the great things the Club has done. I am sorry...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Christina Davis - MELISSA, TX

“Helen was one of a kind. Always had a smile and loved jewelry. I know she was known for her jewelry making. At age 90, she came to a paper bead class...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: Carol Chapman - Anna, TX - Friend

“Buddy and Sandra even thoughs it's been years since I seen you to.ut has only been couple years since I saw your Mom.will miss her when I go to...Read More »
6 of 6 | Posted by: Connie Marsh(Ruyle) - Denton, TX


Helen Inez (Garvin) Browning, 98, was born in Mineral Wells, TX on May 24,1922 and passed
away on December 5, 2020. She was born to Van Buren and Sybil (Harris) Garvin, the 5th of 8
children with 3 sisters - Gladys, Juanita and Myrl -and 4 brothers - Doc, Ollie, Bud and Henry.
Helen will be missed by her daughter Sandra Keahey and J.R. of Kemp, son, James (Buddy)
Browning of Paris, grandchildren Danny Craft and Tonya of Melissa, Suzan Johnson and Leon of
Kemp, Eric Keahey and Christie of Kemp, great-grandchildren: Dana Jones and Fred of
Bridgeport, Dona Hardin and Josh of Decatur, Cara Smith and Justin of Rockwall, Tana Hartman
and Brett of Melissa, Cody Johnson and Kaci of Corinth, great-great grandchildren: Brody, Brac,
Bowen, Stran, Scout, Hudson, Sawyer, Levi, Quinlee and a new baby girl due in February. "Aunt
Helen" will also be missed by numerous nieces and nephews from South Carolina to California as
well as many beloved friends.

Helen's early years were spent on the family farm tending to their garden, caring for livestock
And "pulling" cotton. Helen always said they "had more fun than anybody" riding horses, swimming in the river
and having square dance parties in their home. It was at one of these dance parties that
she met her husband, J.W. Browning. Their first date was spent dancing at the Roof Garden atop
the Baker Hotel. It would be their only date. They were married days later on February 17, 1941.
Shortly after their wedding, they moved to J.W.'s hometown of Melissa, TX where their children,
Sandra and Buddy were born. Within the year, the U.S. would be drawn into World War II - with
the bombing of Pearl Harbor the day after Sandra was born. Helen spent the war years working
at Duke and Ayers and later picked cotton, worked as a telephone operator, worked at the post
office, Texas Instruments and ran the water department. She and J.W. would travel to
California, Tennessee, Alabama, Nevada, and a variety of Texas towns for work, but Melissa
remained their home. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Melissa for 79 years where
she welcomed members each Sunday with her big smile. She loved singing and sang in the church
choir. In the 1970's she prepared Christmas food baskets when she became aware of local families
in need. This grew into First Melissa's annual Christmas Angel program that continues today.
Helen, who loved children, spent her life enriching the lives of all who knew her. She taught
generations of children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and was known to have her
station wagon loaded with kids going to the races or to Six Flags -where she would ride every ride
because she was the biggest kid of them all! She played baseball with her grand kids well into her
80's and 90's. She was a PTA president, Den mother for Boy Scouts, started the Pioneer Club,
helped start the Melissa Library, supported new businesses in Melissa, helped the Melissa
Christian Church make crafts that funded scholarships for Melissa graduates, and was often seen
at Melissa sporting events cheering for her Cardinals and eating hotdogs with jalapenos. Her
dedication to the town, schools and people she loved earned her the title of '"Ms. Melissa" as well
as numerous honors and awards. She did all that she could to see that Melissa and its people
prospered and thrived. Wearing her Melissa Cardinals tee shirts, this tiny white-haired lady was
easily recognized wherever she went and was greeted by everyone who knew her and those who
noticed that she was special. Today Helen would bite her tongue, pat you on the back and tell you
"Always have a smile on your face. Be happy." That is the way she will be remembered by all
who knew her... smiling and happy.

Donations/memorials can be made to First Melissa Church, 2101 E Melissa Rd, Melissa, TX 75454.

The family has requested at the time of the pass-by and condolences please skip the hugs, hand-shakes.
this time.