Published: Thursday, August 15th, 2013
Helen Marie McGranahan was born in Maupin, Ore., Oct. 18, 1959, to Veril and Claire Kelly. She grew up in the Maupin area on a farm/ranch and lived there until marrying Greg in 1986. She graduated from Wasco County Union High School and received an AA degree in horticulture from Mount Hood Community College.
Prior to her marriage, she worked as a grounds keeper at Kah-nee-ta Resort in Central Oregon. Greg and Helen moved several times across Oregon, as Greg was with the Forest Service, and arrived in Custer, S.D., in 2002.
Through these moves, Helen worked many jobs with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management along with a few in the private sector. She relished those jobs where she could be in the field dealing with the plants and other natural resources. She was a get-your-hands-in-the-dirt type of girl.
Helen had many talents and skills. She truly loved her gardens, animals, writing, cooking and baking. Her cake-making skills were enjoyed by many. Many people have benefited from her gardening and landscaping assistance and advice. She loved to promote the use of native species in these endeavors. Helen wrote Master Gardener articles for the Custer County Chronicle. She was a Master Gardener through the SDSU Cooperative Extension Service and a member of the Custer County Master Gardeners.
Helen died Aug. 3, 2013, She was 53.
Survivors include her husband, Gregory McGranahan of Custer; father, Veril Kelly of The Dalles, Ore.; sisters, Laura (Albert) Mitchell of Auburn, Wash., and Irene (Jim) Jerome of John Day, Ore; sister-in-law, Pam; brothers-in-law, Albert, Jim and Mike; nieces, Katie, Amanda, Tasha, Michele; nephew, Tyler; and many friends from Oregon to Iowa and parts in between.
Memorial services were Aug. 10 at Worls Roost, off Carroll Creek Road near Custer.
A memorial has been established to Custer County Master Gardner’s or the Juniper Flat Rural Fire District.
Written condolences may be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.
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