Stella Bess (Morris) Massey Helf
January 18, 1933 – December 10, 2018
FARMERS BRANCH – Stella Bess (Morris) Massey Helf, 85, passed away unexpectedly and went to her eternal home with the Lord on Dec. 10, 2018.
A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. on Jan. 4 at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Decatur, followed by a time of remembrance and sharing at Hawkins Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m.
Additionally, there will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch, with a reception to follow.
Stella was born on Jan. 18, 1933 in Decatur. She was the third child of the late Archie and Birdie Morris and was blessed with two older siblings, Raymond (Bubba) and Mary. She was much loved and adored, and often mentioned how lucky she was to have had such a wonderful childhood. She fondly remembered her school years, especially being a member of the Decatur High School Drum Majorettes and the fun times shared at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion. After high school, Stella attended Decatur Baptist College.
Stella married Frank Massey in 1955 in Decatur. They made their home in Bowie and had three sons, Lee Ray, David and Steven. Stella adored being a mom and loved spending her time supporting her boys in all of their activities.
She worked at Bowie Savings and Loan and for Bowie Independent School District as a substitute teacher. In 1975, Stella opened a Hallmark Store in Bowie called The Birdies’ Nest, named after her mother. Later, she took a traveling position with Merle Norman Cosmetics; a job she excelled in and loved so much that it led her to help other startup cosmetic companies, such as Lady Love.
Stella married Robert Helf, in April of 1989. They resided in Farmers Branch where they both shared a passion for their yard and entertaining family and friends in their home. Stella welcomed Bob’s children, Steve, Todd, Michael Ann, Linda and their families with open arms as if they were her own. Bob and Stella were a part of a loving neighborhood community full of lifetime friends that surrounded her with so much love when Bob unexpectedly passed away.
Even more than being a Mom, Stella loved being a Grandma to her beloved ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. She devoted her life to being the “best grandma ever” by giving of her time, her wisdom, her memories and her sacrificial love.
Stella was a long-time member of Schreiber United Methodist Church where she attended and served in a number of roles throughout the years. Her Sunday School class developed into a strong family of friends for Stella. They served together and did life together until the very end. Stella truly loved her friends and felt very blessed to have them in her life. In addition to her service at the church, Stella enjoyed volunteering through Meal on Wheels delivering food to the homebound. She also served as a FEMA volunteer.
Stella spent her last years with a long-time cherished friend Gerald Strange, whom quickly became a part of our family, and we all love dearly.
The highlight each year for Stella was “the camp” at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion in Decatur. “The camp” holds a lifetime of Stella’s best memories with family and friends. It was Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July all wrapped into one week of celebrations of life with family and lifetime friends. A favorite tradition every year, she treasured the time she got to spend with her children, grandchildren, and passing along the memories of her time spent there as a child.
She was proceeded in death by her parents, Archie and Birdie Morris; her brother, Raymond (Bubba) Morris; her sister, Mary Morris Bruce; her niece, Renee Bruce; her first husband, Frank Massey, and her second husband, Robert Helf.
Stella is survived by her three sons, Lee Ray (Kristine), David (Jackie), and Steven (Dawn); her stepchildren, Steve (Nelda), Michael Ann (Charlie), Todd (Connie), and Linda; and her grandchildren, Erik (Bridget), Blaine, Landon (Delaney), Carson, Nathan, Neal (Cyndi), Mark, Brian, Bill and Kendyll; along with six great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, Stella and her family would be honored for you to donate to one of her favorite charities, Meals on Wheels. You can make a donation at vnatexas.org/give, call 214-689-2601, or send a check to 1600 Viceroy Drive, Set. 400, Dallas, TX 75235.
Hawkins Funeral Home
405 East Main St | Decatur, TX | 940-627-5959