Helen Louise Caylor, 101, a longtime resident of Punxsutawney, passed away at the Golden Living Center in Shippenville on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, surrounded by her family.
Born April 8, 1912, in Grange, Pa., she was a daughter of the late David (Bert) Brosius and Martha Elizabeth Fleming.
On June 24, 1932, she married Claude C. Caylor, and they shared 69 years of laughter and love together, working, gardening, fishing, hunting and visiting with friends and family. He preceded her in death on Feb. 24, 2002.
Mrs. Caylor was raised in Grange and graduated from Punxsutawney High School in 1931.
She attended the Adrian Hospital School of Nursing. She was a lifelong learner, voracious reader and curious about many subjects.
She and her husband raised a garden, canned fruits and vegetables, enjoyed cooking and baking and remained active into their later years.
During holidays, she hosted international students and their families from Turkey, Northern Cyprus, China, Malaysia, Italy, Germany, Costa Rica and Ireland, often sending them home with hand-made quilts or crocheted items.
She especially enjoyed hosting visitors during Groundhog Day, even attending the event with her granddaughter Trina in 1992 — the year Bill Murray was there researching his role for the movie, “Groundhog Day.”
Mrs. Caylor enjoyed many hobbies, such as crocheting, tatting, knitting and creating unique patterns and experimenting with fabrics. But she was most known for her favorite hobby: quilting.
When Helen was in grade school, her grandmother taught her how to quilt.
“My grandmother used to say, ‘You might as well make yourself useful; you’ve got to learn how to do these things,'” Helen would say.
She worked throughout her life, including helping her husband with their
poultry farm, where they supplied eggs for hospitals in Pittsburgh.
She also worked at G.C. Murphy Company, and was once president of the Jefferson County Homemakers.
She was also a member of the Dutchtown Homemakers, the Punxsutawney Homemakers and the Christian Women’s Club.
She was the oldest member of the First United Methodist Church in Punxsutawney.
Mrs. Caylor was gracious with her gifts and her time.
“The more you help somebody else, the more you get back in another way,” she would say. “God always rewards you for what you have done right in life.”
Over the years, she volunteered for The Salvation Army and worked selling items at Woodside Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Md., during its yearly fundraiser sale.
She was happy to donate her hand-made quilts to Relay for Life in Jefferson and Clarion counties, Jr. Women’s Club of Oil City, The Leukemia Society and the Veterans’ Hospital in Altoona.
Mrs. Caylor was known for her positive attitude, a trait she learned from her parents.
“Dad always taught us, mother too, that if you didn’t like someone, you pretended you did,” she would say. “And the more you pretend, the more you did like them!”
Surviving are her daughters, Louise Reefer of Rural Valley and Kathleen Hess and husband Robert of Cranberry; and a son, Myron Caylor and wife Jackie of Houghton Lake, Mich.
Also surviving are her 10 grandchildren: Colleen Burke (Bob) of Punxsy; Mickey Reefer of Maryland; Michael, James, Robert and Rick Caylor of Michigan; Melinda Hess of Clarion; Brian Hess (Nichole) of Kossuth; Trina Hess of Cranberry; and Eric Hess (Amanda) of Oil City.
She also is survived by 16 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and 20 nieces and nephews.
Mrs. Caylor was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Claude; her son-in-law, Mickey Reefer, Sr.; her sisters, Martha Brosius, Mary Chambers, Eleanor Chambers and Flora Yoas; and her brothers, Marion and John Brosius.
Friends will be received from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, at the Shumaker Funeral Home in Punxsutawney.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, with the Rev. Al Kimmel of Grace United Methodist Church officiating.
Interment will follow at St. John’s Reformed Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in Mrs. Caylor’s memory to the First United Methodist Church, West Mahoning St., Punxsutawney, PA 15767.
Online condolences may be made at www.shumakerfh.com .