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Helen L. Hamm
Helped with war effort
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Helen M. Hamm, devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away on March 18, 2009 at the age of 93. 

Helen was born in Canyon City, Colorado on December 14, 1915 as the second of six children to Christian and Ina Dee Kleine.  She left home at the age of 14 and spent her youth traveling the country and embarking on many adventures.  After giving birth to her daughter, Elizabeth Lee, she panned for gold during the Great Depression, built a cabin, joined a saddle club, and modified commercial airplanes into warcrafts during World War II.  After the war, she married Joseph Seth Hamm in 1952.  They would stay married until his death in 1980.  The two had three daughters, Rose Varnet, Mary Jo Woodmansee, and Debbie Anderson.

Helen became a devoted homemaker, participating in many activities and programs with her daughters, such as Girl Scouts, sewing, and musicianship.  Joseph and Helen moved the family to Manteca in 1972, in which she would reside until her passing.  After her daughters had grown, Helen focused her attention on earning her GED, spending time with her grandchildren, and becoming involved in the community.  She was the Secretary for the Sunshine Club for twenty years, a member of the Manteca Quilt Club, and did volunteer work for the Manteca Historical Society.  As an avid collector, she loved to attend antique shows, street fairs, and craft shows.  She had an undying passion for learning and her life was a constant quest for knowledge.  She instilled the virtues of loyalty, compassion, and kindness into her family with her strength, open-mindedness, and stoic charm.

In addition to her late husband, Helen is preceded in death by her brothers, John and Chris Kleine, and her sister, Mary Soden.  She is also preceded by her daughter, Elizabeth Lee. 

In addition to her three daughters with Joseph, she is survived by: her sister Edna Moore of Manteca, brother Jim Kleine of Monrovia, CA, grandchildren William Barslund of Ripon, CA, Fawn Matthews of Mt. Airy, NC, Jesse Varnet of Port Townsend, WA, Michelle Escotto of Portland, OR, Joey Graziano of Manteca, Nick Anderson and Blaine Johnson of Denair, CA, great-grandchildren Haley and Caden West of Mt. Airy, NC, Joseph and George Barslund of Ripon, and Emilia Varnet of Port Townsend, WA.

Services for Helen will be conducted by P.L. Fry and Son.  The viewing will be on Monday, March 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. and her funeral will be held on Tuesday, March 24, at 10 a.m. followed by a graveside service at Parkview Cemetery.  There will be a gathering of friends and relatives at Helen’s home afterwards.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, March 21, 2009