Helene Blough Crill Snider passed away at 100 years of age on March 30, 2023, at Timbercrest Senior Living Center in North Manchester, Indiana. She was the daughter of John Howard Blough and Mae (Hersch) Blough, born on August 7, 1922, in Waterloo, Iowa. Helene was a child of The Great Depression, growing up in rural Iowa communities where her father was a Church of the Brethren pastor.
Helene graduated from Manchester College in 1942 with a double major in English and Music, two of her personal passions which stayed with her over her life time. Upon graduation Helene married Ed Crill, a pacifist who was serving in Civilian Public Service during World War II. Helene taught music and was the organist at St. Scholastica parish in Chicago, Illinois during those years.
At the end of the war, Helene and Ed relocated to McPherson, Kansas and then New Windsor, Maryland, during which time they welcomed their four children Carol, Linda, Jayk and Anita before moving to Elgin, Illinois in the 1950s. Helene was the lead organist for ten years at the Elgin Church of the Brethren. In 1960 the Crill family moved to Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where Helene was again the lead organist at that Church of the Brethren for 20 years. During those years Helene also received plaudits for her innovative and expert approach to teaching reading skills to middle schoolers.
In 1981, the family felt the tragic heartbreak of losing their son/brother/father, Jayk, in a mid-air collision. In picking up the pieces of her life Helene spent several years teaching English as a 2nd language in Morelia, Mexico, then moving to be part of her eldest daughter’s family in Canada. During this period the entire Crill family delighted in the re-marriage of Jayk’s wife, Debby Browne, to Berny Strom, making the family whole again.
In the early 1990s Helene moved to Timbercrest Senior Living Center. During her nearly 35-year tenure there Helene was married Don Snider from 1995 to his death in 2005. At Timbercrest Helene is remembered as the originator and first director of the Hymn Sing for residents living in Health Care and Crestwood, which continues to this day.
Family was the most important part of Helene’s life. Although her family was scattered around the world, she kept in contact with everyone. The loving memory of Helene will be forever cherished by her daughters and sons-in-law: Carol Crill Russell and Hugh Russell, Guelph, Ontario; Linda Crill, Chico, California; Anita Crill Wooley and Bruce Wooley, 29 Palms, California; and Debby Browne and Berny Strom, Fort Collins, Colorado. Also, by her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Patrick & Robyn Holshousen Russell and their daughter, Megan; Jesse & Ceilidh Eaton Russell and their children, Lily and Sam; Lu Strom & Roxanne Stuart; Tobin & Hannah Wanebo Strom and their children, Cate and Mary; and Lindsey Boyle. Also holding her dear to his heart is Helene’s brother, Dr. J. Bernard Blough of Tucson, Arizona. Helene’s sister, Mary Blough Halladay of Ashland, Kentucky pre-deceased Helene.
A private family remembrance service will be held at a later date.
The family of Helene Snider has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.