Helen passed away peacefully on Labor Day, September 6, 2021, at her home in Tryon, North Carolina. She was born on October 29, 1932 in Weirton, WV. His mother Barbara Mihalchik Hrin and his father Michael Hrin emigrated to America from Czechoslovakia and settled in Weirton, WV.
Helen was predeceased by her brother Michael “Frieze” Hrin, Brother John Hrin, Sister Anna Evancho and Sister Mary Paul.
She is survived by her husband, James Dean Gilbert of Tryon, North Carolina home, daughter Jacqueline Bartell (husband Mark) of Boiling Springs, SC, and son Mike Lemley of New Cumberland, WV. She is survived by three grandchildren, Michael Bartell, Molly Bartell and Mary Ann Bartell.
Helen spent her early years as a cosmetologist in Weirton. She owned the Charm Beauty Salon for many years and was very active in her community organizing beauty and fashion shows and supporting charity, although her greatest joy was raising her children, Mike and Jackie. When Helen moved south to Spartanburg, she continued her career in the beauty industry by purchasing Delite Beauty Supply. She met James in 1989 and after their marriage she sold the store and they moved to the Red Fox Country Club in Tryon, NC. They have been married for thirty-two years.
During their first years of marriage, Helen traveled widely with James due to her career in the horticultural industry. While an officer of the Plant Propagators Society, they traveled to several foreign countries for meetings and visits. Among the countries that Helen enjoyed visiting with James were Japan, New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and England. On these trips, she was the “party life”. Everyone loved her smiley face and good humor!
In Tryon, Helen was involved in many community service activities. She has been an active board member and fundraiser for Steps to HOPE, an organization that helps abused women and children. For many years she supported St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. She founded the Foxy Ladies Luncheon Club, whose members came together for fun and to raise funds for Steps to Hope, Hospice and Relay For Life. She was also the manager of the Red Fox Dinner Club. She was co-chair of the 2011 Home Tour for the Green Blades Garden Club. In 2012, she was named to the Second Wind Hall of Fame. Helen was a deacon in the congregational church and loved to decorate the church during the holidays.
She worked part time for several local boutiques and enjoyed doing fashion shows for these stores. She especially enjoyed working with clients and meeting people from many places. Customers loved her and she loved helping them!
She was a beautiful and wonderful woman and will be missed by all who knew her!
A memorial service for Helen will be scheduled at a later date due to the COVID virus situation. Once the plans are made, an ad will appear in the Tryon Daily Bulletin. Based on Helen’s wishes, the memorial service will be a relaxed, happy and positive occasion for friends and family to come together and remember their happy times together.
In remembrance of Helen Gilbert’s life, the family requests that all charitable donations be made in her name to Steps to HOPE, an organization that helps abused women and children. Helen served on the Steps to HOPE Board of Directors for many years. Please send your memorial donation for Steps to HOPE to: PO Box 518, 60 Ward Street, Columbus, NC 28722. Their website is: www.stepstohope.org.
Condolences can be left at www.pettyfuneralhome.com.