Helen S. Keen, 86, of Waymart passed away peacefully on Monday morning, September 13, 2021 at home, after an illness. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 56 years, Dale R. Keen who died on October 24, 2009. They were married on July 25, 1953.
Born March 27, 1935 in Greentown, she was the daughter of the late Carl and Ethel (Beisher) Schoenagel.
Helen was born and raised on the family farm in Greentown. In her youth, she was a member of the Hemlock Grove United Methodist Church and Sunday School, where she began playing piano at age 14. She graduated from Greene Dreher High School in 1953. Later that summer, she married the love of her life, Dale. In the early years, Helen, Dale and Wade worked on the farm until Dale was called into service in the United States Army. Helen stayed on the farm and only joined him in Fort Polk, LA when she found out they were expecting their second child. Following his honorable discharge, they settled on the Keen family farm once again where Helen took a prominent role in operating the dairy farm, as well as all the other aspects of a hard-working farm wife and mother. Helen was a school bus driver for more than 40 years. For 23 years, she served the community as the Canaan Township Tax Collector.
Helen began playing piano and organ at an early age, and had the distinction of serving her home church, Calvary United Methodist Church in Waymart for 63 years with her music, including being the choir director. She started playing on Sundays since October of 1957 and played until 2020. Through the years, she played at several local churches including the First Presbyterian and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Churches in Waymart as well as for many weddings and funerals in the northeast region. Helen loved her church; she was also a faithful member of the United Methodist Women. She was a member and Past Worthy Matron of the Laurel Chapter #67 Order of the Eastern Star. Always happy for time with family and friends, she and Dale enjoyed bowling and were in several leagues through the years. Helen was an integral part of our community and will be fondly remembered with love, by all who had the joy of knowing her. She was truly a gift to us all.
She is survived by five children: Gary Keen and his wife Cindy of Waymart, Bonnie Sheard and her husband Ron of Calkins, Doug Keen and his wife Cathy of Florida, Linda Mosher and her husband Carl of Waymart, and Kathy Williams and her husband Dan of Dunmore; 13 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; her sister, Ruth Altemier and her husband Roger of Greentown; and several nieces and nephews.
Helen was also preceded in death by her brother, Charles Schoenagel; and her sister, Emogene Brill.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, September 16 at 10:00 AM in Calvary United Methodist Church, 151 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472 with Pastor Wendy D’Agostino and Rev. Bonnie Sheard co-officiating.
Friends and family may visit on Wednesday, September 15 from 4-7pm in the Jenkins-Howell Funeral Home, Inc. Edward R. Howell, Funeral Director, 269 Belmont Street, Waymart, PA 18472. An Eastern Star Funeral Service will conclude the visitation at 7pm in the funeral home on Wednesday.
Interment will be on Thursday in Keen Cemetery, Canaan Township.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Helen’s memory to the Open Door Café at Calvary United Methodist Church. Donations may be payable to United Methodist Women, PO Box J, Waymart, PA 18472.