Helen Spear Youngblood Holshouser, 73, of Youngsville, NC, passed away Sunday afternoon, January 22, 2023, at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh. She was born in Richmond, VA, to the late Margaret Steptoe Kearse Youngblood and Cecil Hogue Youngblood Sr.
Helen grew up in Richmond, received her undergraduate degree from Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC, and her master's degree from Chapman College in Petersburg, VA. She was a flower child who spent her college years and beyond advocating and protesting for human rights and peace. She played guitar and was a synchronized swimmer. She taught swim lessons and was a lifeguard. In 1971 Helen married the love of her life, Max, and in 1980, their family moved to North Carolina. Her career included teaching special education, working as a staff psychologist in various settings, and working as a marriage, family, group, and individual counselor. She also spent a few years teaching interpersonal communication at NC State University. She spent many years volunteering with various organizations, including her kids' schools, the PTA at school and state levels, her church, Girl Scouts, and more.
Helen had to retire early at 50 when she became disabled by her first heart attack and severe heart disease. Doctors told her she would be lucky to survive another 5 years without a heart transplant. Obviously, a transplant would bring a whole new world of risks and problems, so she decided not to go that route. And despite her doctors' warnings and fears, she was with us for another 23+ years. She fought through multiple heart attacks, countless surgeries on her heart, her back, and more, even fought off breast cancer in the midst of all that, but she continued to live a lot of life. Helen was an amazingly strong and resilient woman.
In her retirement, Helen had three main pastimes. She would say she loved her three G's - spending time with her Grandchildren, Gardening and Genealogy. She was also the best at striking up a conversation and making friends with anyone in sight. Through her genealogy work, she discovered close and distant cousins across the country and around the world, and she assisted many adoptees in helping find their birth parents thru DNA. She always found ways to connect with people and connect them with others. She was also a writer, who blogged about her genealogy research, her family history, and more, and every now and then she would mention a novel she had started writing and was going to finish one day. Helen will be missed so very much by so many people who loved her dearly.
A memorial service will be held at 3 o’clock, Saturday, February 4th, 2023, at North Raleigh United Methodist Church, 8501 Honeycutt Road, Raleigh, NC 27615, with a reception afterward.
Helen is survived by her husband of 51 years, Max Holshouser; daughters, Ali Holshouser Orcutt & husband Greg of Wake Forest, and Annie Holshouser of Youngsville; grandchildren, Liam, Katy, and Evie Orcutt; sister, Anne Prince & husband Joseph of Midlothian, VA; brothers, Cecil H. Youngblood Jr. & wife Alice of Powhatan, VA, and Fulton Youngblood of Powhatan VA; friends and extended family, including the many cousins she connected to through her genealogy work.
Memorial contributions can be made to North Raleigh United Methodist Church, http://nrumc.org/.
Arrangements by Clancy Strickland Wheeler Funeral Home, 1051 Durham Road, Wake Forest, NC, (919)556-7400.