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Helen E. (Parsons) Thurber

Helen E. (Parsons) Thurber, 88, of Avery Street, Ipswich, wife of the late Hanford Thurber, died Tuesday, January 12, 2016 in the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, following her long illness.  

Born in Ipswich on September 26, 1927, one of two children of the late Dana G. and Florence M. (Bayley) Parsons, she was raised in Ipswich, and graduated from Ipswich High School.  She was proud of having worked on proximity fuses at Sylvania as a young teen during the war.  She continued her education at the former Burdett College in Boston, and upon graduation from secretarial school was employed at MetLife in Salem.  Married in 1950, the Thurbers raised their family on Highland Avenue before moving to Avery Street in 1972.  After working in the cafeteria for the Ipswich School System, she became employed as a bank teller at the former Bay State National Bank on Central Street, retiring in 1997.   

Helen and “Buddy” were avid readers and patrons of several area libraries.  She also enjoyed cooking and cake decorating, happily sharing her goods with family and friends.  Helen was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church of Ipswich.

 Helen is survived by two sons, David Thurber of Manchester, NH and Bruce Thurber and his wife Nancy of Middleton; two daughters, Jean Thurber Coble and her husband Robert Coble of Rota, Spain and Stuttgart, Germany and Carol Thurber Bolduc and her husband John of Ipswich; seven grandchildren, Kevin and Jeannette Sheehan of NH, Dr. Carrie Thurber of GA, Jennifer Thurber of NC, Kathryn and Justin Shepherd of FL, Lauren and Korey Garner of MD, ENS Joseph Coble (USN) and Richard Sotiropoulos of Ipswich; and three great-grandchildren, Kevin Sheehan and Emma Sheehan of NH, and Rhett Shepherd of FL.  She is also survived by her cousin Robert Prentiss and his wife Ruth of Danvers, and several extended family members and friends.  She was the mother of the late Joyce Sotiropoulos and sister of the late Doris Hardy, both formerly of Ipswich.

Helen’s family would like to extend their gratitude to all who assisted Helen, with special thanks to the staff of Care Dimensions, and niece Dale Hardy Spaulding.  Her funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 26 at 11:00, graveside in the Cowles Memorial Cemetery in Ipswich.  Family and friends are respectfully welcomed.  Memorial contributions may be sent to The Plummer Home for Boys, 37 Winter Island Road, Salem, MA 01970. 


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