Obituary: Mary Helen McAninch Nell

Mary Helen McAninch Nell

Mary Helen McAninch Nell

Mary Helen McAninch Nell. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on November 11, 1929, Baby Helen soon moved with her parents to Casey County, Kentucky, where they weathered the Depression.

Of her rural childhood, Helen often told of lying on a ledge overhanging the creek, holding a butcher knife and waiting for snakes. For other amusements, she and brother Bobby held funerals for baby chicks. “I’d preach,” Helen said, “and Bobby would cry.”

Country fun gave way to city when the family moved back to Cincinnati in 1945. Chili parlors, best friends, and boys took up the next years until Helen graduated from St. Bernard High School in 1948. With her eye for detail and organizational skills, she excelled in the secretarial arts and well as household management. She worked outside the home at G.E, Union Camp, and the City of Blue Ash and inside her sparkling home with husband and two kids.

After moving to Arizona in 1973, she turned a $2.00 per hour temp job into a career in internal auditing, first at Ernst and Ernst, and then at Samaritan Health Service. Upon retiring from the State of Arizona in 1997, she moved to her beloved Prescott, where she enjoyed her view of Thumb Butte and the Prescott skyline.

Famously frugal, Helen once prompted this tribute from nine-year-old granddaughter Audra: “Gram will never die, not without a coupon to get into heaven.” That coupon was redeemed November 11, 2016 on her 87th birthday.

Helen will be missed by brother Robert McAninch of Florida; children Eric Stall and Kim Toms; grandchildren Emmett White, Audra White, Jessica Rainbow, and Tara Stall; as well as great-grandchildren Emil Vilaly, Alice Rainbow, and Teagan Stall. A memorial will be held at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, May 21, at Watson Lake’s upper ramada. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Good Samaritan Society of Prescott, Arizona.

Information provided by survivors.