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Helen Vancine Ritchey

November 16, 1940 - January 21, 2021

     Helen Vancine Young Ritchey, 80 years old and a resident of Salem, OR for 52 years, died peacefully at home after a courageous 4 1/2 year battle with metastasized breast cancer, on January 21, 2021.

     Helen was born on November 16, 1940 in New Beiber, CA to George E. and Pansy Wilma Young. She attended grade school in New Beiber, before her family moved to Corvallis, OR when she started Junior High. Her family made its last move to Dallas, OR where she started high school and met the love of her life in chemistry class during her junior year.
     She married Larry Wayne Ritchey on Aug 20, 1959 and they immediately moved to Coronado, CA where Larry was stationed in the Navy. They moved back to Dallas in 1961 and had two daughters, and moved to Salem in 1969 and had two more daughters.

     Helen was employed at Dallas City Bank, Commercial Bank in Salem, and spent the majority of her career at North Salem High School where she was employed as the Bookkeeper from Sept 1979 to June 2003. She was affectionately known as “Mom” to many of the students at North through the years. Helen was a member of the First Church of the Nazarene since 1971.

     Her hobbies included sewing, reading, gardening, writing Christmas pageants, and creating costumes for her eight grandchildren. She wrote the manuscripts for several children's books which have yet to be published. Helen created hundreds of hand sewn costumes for many musicals and plays at North Salem High School. Furthermore, her daughters were honored when she sewed each of their wedding dresses by hand.

     Helen is survived by her husband of 61 years, Larry Ritchey, who currently resides in Salem. Her sister, Evelyn Thorne of Pheonix, AZ, along with many wonderful neices and nephews. Her four daughters, Jozette Ritchey, Jennifer (Steve) Outslay, Jenee (Andre) Orso , Rebecca (James)  Barger. Grandchildren Emileigh (Logan) Canales, Joshua, Justin, and Jessica Outslay, Gabriel (Jessie), Elias, and Noah Orso, Kendall Barger, and three great granddaughters. We all feel blessed and honored to have had Helen in our lives. She was deeply loved and will be dearly missed by many family members, friends, and loved ones.

     She is preceded in death by her parents George E. Young and Wilma Young, sister Kathryn Shaeffer, and brother George Norman Young.

     A Celebration of Life will be held at Salem First Church of the Nazarene, 1550 Market St. NE, on Friday, January 29, at 4:00 pm. COVID restrictions will apply and masks will be required.

     The family wishes to express our deep gratitude to Dr. Janelle Meyer, MD and the staff at Oregon Oncology for their compassionate on-going care, Kindred Care Hospice and Senior Helpers of Salem, for their wonderful comfort and end-of-life care provided for Helen the last few weeks of her life.

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