Helen Wardroup Profile Photo
1930 Helen 2021

Helen Wardroup

June 9, 1930 — March 11, 2021

Helen Ruth Plumlee Wardroup, beloved artist, gracious hostess, adventurous traveler and energetic volunteer, died March 11, 2021 at her home in Ingram. She was 90. Visitation will be held from 3-5 PM, Sunday, March 14, 2021 at Grimes Funeral Chapels. Graveside services will be held at 1 PM, Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Pioneer Cemetery in Pioneer, Texas. Helen was the youngest of five children born to Ike and Zola Buzbee Plumlee. She was born at the family home in Pioneer, Texas, June 9, 1930, and spent most of her childhood in the Pioneer and Cross Plains communities, graduating from Cross Plains High School in 1947. She graduated from then Abilene Christian College in 1950 with a degree in secondary education, and in 1977 earned a bachelor's degree in art at the University of Texas Permian Basin. She was working as a secretary in Odessa when she met William Richard Wardroup at a camp party. They married November 26, 1952, and began a life together that took them to the oil patch of West Texas and South America. Bill worked for Humble-Exxon in Monahans, Midland, Beaumont, Tyler, and Peru. Helen was a secretary, teacher, and always an artist. Wherever the family was living, summers always brought them to Ingram and the family land and one-room house on the shores of the Guadalupe. Since the 1960s, Bill and Helen hosted the family at the lake on the land they called the "water ranch" where the hills were always full of kids and cousins. In 1986 after Bill retired they built a permanent home there where Helen remained after Bill's death in 2004. She entertained with flare and loved to share her home and its views of the Guadalupe River. She adored her daughters, good conversation, shrimp in every form, chocolate, strong coffee and afternoons on the "veranda". Helen's involvement in the Kerrville arts community spanned 35 years. She served on the boards of the Kerrville Library, and Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, where her work was featured in a one-woman show in 2017. She was also involved with Hill Country Arts, garden clubs and ladies Bible classes in Kerrville and in other cities where she lived. She was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ. Helen in survived by her daughters, Laura Wardroup of Abilene, Susan Cooke and husband Jerry of Lockhart; grandchildren, Alex and Alyssa Cooke; and one great-grandson, Ramsey Cooke Calderon. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews and dear friends. Those wishing to honor Helen's memory may do so with a memorial gift to Abilene Preservation League, 1174 N 1st St., Abilene, Texas 79601 or online at abilenepreservation.org; Cross Plains Library, PO Box 333, Cross Plains, Texas 76443; Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 228 Earl Garrett St., Kerrville, Texas 78028; or a charity of their choice. She was blessed with loving caregivers, Judy, Mia, Thelma, Trenissa and Debbie, as well as Peterson Hospice.
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