Helen Lee Mills, 85, 35-year Penderlea Store owner

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Helen Lee Mills, of the Penderlea community, died peacefully on March 31, 2015, at Brian Center in Wallace following a long bout with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 85.

She was born on Jan. 14, 1930, in Johnston County, one of seven children of Nathan Young Lee and Estus Eldridge Lee. In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Julian Carol Mills; daughter, Joy Lee Mills; brother, Colvet M. Lee; two infant brothers; and sisters, Ruby Lee Gurganous, Ernestine Lee and Jessie Lee Miller;

Helen is survived by her daughters, Lynne Mills Jones (Randy), of Penderlea and Kathryn Mills Roberts, of Raleigh; grandchildren, Lisa Renee Jones, Amy Jones Sholar (Philip), Michael Britt Jones (Meagan), Caroline Mills Roberts and Allison Clayton Roberts; great-grandchildren, Taylor Jones, Evan Jones and Lauren Sholar; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.

For 35 years Helen and her husband Julian owned and operated Penderlea Store. In addition to being a merchant Helen worked and retired from Pender Memorial Hospital.

Helen’s greatest joy in life was her beloved family. Her Christian spirit was always shining as she directed the choir for over 25 years at Potts Memorial Presbyterian Church where she also served as a deacon. Forever remembered are Helen’s zest for life, her love of singing and music, her contagious laughter, her sweet spirit and most of all her faith in her Lord and Savior.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, April 3, 2015, at Potts Memorial Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. Following internment the family will receive friends at the church fellowship hall.

The family suggests that you consider a memorial gift in honor and memory of Helen to Penderlea Homestead Museum, C/O Al Owens, 5490 Horse Branch Road, Willard, NC 28478 or to Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer Research Center at Duke University, 2200 W. Main St., Suite A-200, Durham, NC 27705.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Quinn-McGowen Funeral Home.

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