Helen Gourley Wasson

(July 28, 1924 - May 1, 2019)


Helen Gourley Wasson passed away on May 1, 2019, in Seward, Alaska.

She was delivered by her country doctor grandfather in Bado, Missouri, on July 28, 1924. She grew up in the Depression in the Ozarks but lived in many other states. She and her husband, Joe, had three children: Dennis, Jennifer, and Elizabeth. They lived in Powell from 1954 to 1968.

Joe was hired at Heasler’s Plumbing and Heating when they first arrived in town. Later he started his own construction business, working around northern Wyoming and doing contract work in Yellowstone. After the family left Powell, Joe still had jobs in Montana, Oregon and Idaho. Joe and Helen built six houses themselves in that time, the last in Emmett, Idaho, where Joe passed away in 1994.

Helen moved to Seward, Alaska, in 2009, to be near family. She loved her little apartment with a view of Resurrection Bay and her church family at Resurrection Lutheran. She renewed her interest in writing and wrote her childhood memoirs in her book Ozark Girl.

Helen had so many interests in her life she didn’t understand how anyone could be bored. Throughout her life she was devoted to her family and her church. She planted gardens and trees, cooked healthy food from scratch, studied nutrition, wrote poems and stories, collected quotes, sewed, watched the birds, and kept current on the news.

Helen is survived by her brother Franklin Gourley (Houston, Missouri); her daughters Elizabeth Wasson (Butte, Montana) and Jennifer and Quentin Carr (Seward, Alaska); their children Joe Carr (Seward, Alaska), Erin Carr (Fairbanks, Alaska), and Ann and Tony Sieminski (Seward, Alaska); Helen’s great-grandsons Simon and Solomon (Seward, Alaska); son Dennis Wasson and family (Kaneohe, Hawaii); and many nieces and nephews.

Helen lived independently until she passed away from heart failure at the age of 94 at Seward Providence. From her beginning days with a horse and wagon to her last days with her computer, she was so thankful for her extraordinary ordinary life. In remembrance of Helen, spread kindness and help the needy.

A memorial will be held on Friday, May 17, at 3 p.m., at Seward Resurrection Lutheran in Seward, Alaska.