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Helen Tomlinson Young, 77, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 5, 2019 at her home in Tuscumbia after a brief illness. There will be a graveside service Saturday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m. at Guy Cemetery in Tuscumbia.
Helen was born in Gadsden on May 25, 1941 to George and Leona (Reichart) Tomlinson. A graduate of Coffee High School in Florence, she earned her B.S. in elementary education and her M.S. in secondary mathematics education from the University of North Alabama. She married Leonard Fay Young on Christmas Eve 1960; they were married until his death in 2007. Helen taught mathematics and pre-algebra at Deshler High School and Northside Middle School for 33 years.
She was an avid diver in her youth and continued to swim half a mile a day until her cancer diagnosis in October. She taught swimming lessons at her home for 20 years, teaching hundreds of children in the Shoals area how to swim. Helen was a talented seamstress and knitter and made clothes, curtains, and bedding for herself, family, and friends. No holiday was complete without her famous potato rolls. Fiercely independent, she mowed the 3 acres behind her house and maintained her pool herself until her recent illness. Helen was an enthusiastic Alabama football fan and attended most home games with her daughter, sister, and brother-in-law over the past 20 years. She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Shoals Catholic Church. Helen will be remembered as a loving and generous mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and human companion to her cat, Buttons.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Debbie Thompson and her husband Kevin of Tuscumbia; son Donald Young and his wife Tammy of Tuscumbia; son Barry Young of Hoover; sister Georgia Buettner and her husband Louis of Tuscaloosa; granddaughter A.J. Thompson Zielike and her husband Andrew of St. Paul, Minn. grandson Bryant Thompson and his wife Grace of Tuscaloosa; granddaughter Aleigha Young of Shelby; and a number of nieces and nephews who she loved dearly.
The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Amedisys, particularly Heather Miller and Lori Mills, for their loving care. Memorial contributions may be made to the Tuscumbia Education Foundation, the Helen Keller Library Foundation, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Colbert Memorial Chapel is assisting the family. You may sign the online registry at colbertmemorial.com