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Helen Louise (McCarty) Arvin

Mar 18, 2016

Helen Louise (McCarty) Arvin, 84, went to be with the Lord and to be reunited with her husband of 58 years on the date of their wedding anniversary, March 9, 2016. She passed away at home with her two children by her side.

Born May 16, 1931, in Hedgesville, she was the daughter of the late John D. and Alice M. McCarty.

She was a past 50+ year member of Christ Reformed Church, where she taught Sunday school for many years. She was a current member of First Presbyterian Church of Martinsburg.

Helen graduated from Shepherdstown High School in 1949 and worked in the bookkeeping department of the Old National Bank and then at the Peoples Trust Company, before becoming the secretary at Martinsburg High School. Her working career was cut short when she was stricken with a virus that attacked her spine, thus leaving her paralyzed (for nearly 50 years) at the age of 35. Although “disabled” in body, she had a fighting spirit and was a pillar of strength and determination. She exceeded the demands of all aspects of maintaining a home and caring for her family.

Before the onset of macular degeneration, she enjoyed sewing and made curtains and bedcovers for her home, as well as clothing for herself and “holiday” shirts for her husband. Many framed pictures in the home display her handiwork of crewel embroidery and cross-stitch. She loved the sun and spent many hours outdoors maintaining her raised flower beds. She was very sharp and delighted in working crossword puzzles and watching Jeopardy. She and her husband traveled near and far, and enjoyed partaking in many types of social and community events.

Fiercely independent, Helen lived alone for three years after the death of her husband. At the end of those three years, however, a major health problem landed her in the hospital and then in a nursing home. Bed-bound for eight months caused her to lose her upper body strength and rendered her unable to get herself in and out of her wheelchair on her own. She was able to return home with the help of caregivers. The next 15 months went smoothly, but then pneumonia put her back in the hospital and nursing home for the next three months. Other health problems developed and prognosis was poor, but she was able to spend her last month at home. Her courage, perseverance and positive attitude throughout her life made her an inspiration to many people.

She is survived by a daughter, Deborah Grove and husband, Steve; a son, Scott Arvin and wife, Heidi; a sister, Doris Grubb; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Douglas W. Arvin; and two brothers, Paul D. and John W. McCarty.

Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at Brown Funeral Home, with The Rev. Dr. Rufus Burton officiating. Interment was at 10 a.m. Monday, March 14, at Pleasant View Memory Gardens.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Berkeley County Humane Society, 554 Charles Town Road, Martinsburg, WV 25405; or to Panhandle Home Health, 208 Old Mill Road, Martinsburg, WV 25401.

Online condolences may be offered at www.BrownFuneralHomesWV.com.