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Helen Josephine Golden
August 16, 1936 ~ December 19, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old
HELEN JOSEPHINE (AKEN) GOLDEN was born on August 16, 1936, in LeFlore County, Mississippi to her loving parents, Lula Smith and Willie Aken, Sr. Following the untimely death of her mother, her father soon married Ruthie Mae Spencer, who adored Helen and raised her with tender loving care. At a young age, Helen accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior, and was baptized at Mount Calvary Church in the Tallahatchie River. As a child, Helen rst attended Money Elementary School, and then, Money High School. Upon her graduation, she began her college career at Mississippi Vocational College, now known as Mississippi Valley State University. It was during her attendance there, in the month of May of 1956, she met the man who would become her forever love, Clarence Golden, Sr. In 1960, Helen received her Bachelor of Education and began a brief career teaching third grade students at Amanda Elzy Elementary School in Greenwood, Mississippi. Within a year, she made the decision to participate in the Great Migration and moved to Chicago, Illinois to be with her love. On July 9, 1961, with her parents’ blessing, Helen was wed to Clarence. Not long a er, she made a change in her career and was called to be a social worker for the Illinois Department of Human Services. It was there she ardently worked for 36 years, until her retirement in 1999. During her early years of marriage, while living with her husband in a quaint apartment on West End Street, Helen’s prayers were answered. In 1968, she was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Clarissa Michelle. A few years later, in 1970, she and Clarence moved to their Oak Park home, “the big, green house,” and welcomed a bouncing baby boy, Clarence Jr. Helen enjoyed her role as a loving mother, and, in return, was loved and adored by her children. Many years later, following the marriages of each of her children, Helen’s heart grew even more. She was elated by the arrivals of her two precious grandchildren, rst Clarence III, (Trey), and later omas Jr. (T.J.). She adored the new additions to her family and she sweetly spoiled each of them as o en as she could. Helen became a cherished member of Warren Central United Church soon a er arriving in Chicago. Warren Central eventually merged with Faith Presbyterian to become Pine Avenue United Presbyterian Church. As an active member there, Helen served in many capacities. She was a Sunday school teacher, church elder, member, and devotional leader of the Women’s Fellowship Committee, and chairperson of several Annual Women’s Day events. Further committed to her faithful tasks, she was also a dedicated weekly volunteer in both the food pantry and during the yearly Vacation Bible School program. No matter the need, she always made herself available to serve the Lord in whatever way she was called.