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Helen Wrate

May 04, 2012

Helen Wrate passed peacefully on April 30 at her home in Corona Del Mar, after a two year fight with breast cancer. She was attended by her loving husband of 50 years, Dick and her two children, John and Jennifer London. She was born 77 years ago in the 'train station' township of Rook, Pennsylvania to Mary and Robert 'Smokey' Franks. At 26 she moved to California to avoid an overly persistent suitor and move in with her brother, Bob. Their mutual friend Lyla Corrales introduced Helen to her brother Dick and soon after they were wed on February 17th, 1962 in Los Angeles. Over the next five years, she helped him grow his printing business until they welcomed their first child John and she became a full time homemaker. A year later daughter Jennifer was born and they prepared a move to an idyllic family neighborhood on Lehigh Place in Westminster. Children grown, they moved to Corona Del Mar and Helen became active in supporting local charities and volunteering at Hoag Hospital, S.O.S., and Sherman Gardens.  Eventually, being a grandmother would become her most cherished occupation. Her five grandchildren Jack, Ava, Ella, Maddie and Olivia will greatly miss the doting attention she paid each of them. Helen will most be remembered for her boundless energy and enthusiasm and her compassionate, generous spirit.  She was an unassuming leader and had a natural ability to make and nurture long-term friendships. Her life will be celebrated Sunday, May 6th at Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar at 4pm.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to your favorite cancer charity or local food bank.

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