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Mary Helen Pax

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Mary Helen Pax

Mary Helen Drake Pax, 96, passed away peacefully to be with her Heavenly Father Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. She had been residing in a private home in Stephenville called “Lola’s Place” for 16 months.

Services were set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at Riley Funeral Home with burial in Live Oak Cemetery. Officiating the service will be Jim Townsend assisted by Andrew Sobities.

She was born Dec. 12, 1922, in Hamilton County to Rev. Sam Drake and Mamie Bloodworth Drake. She was married to Alfred W. Pax 53 years before his passing in 2001.

Mrs. Pax had been a member of Calvary Baptist Church since 1979 and the church clerk who kept the church records meticulously and followed up on every detail for 22 years. She resigned her position when Alfred became so ill so she could dedicate all her time to taking care of his needs.

She graduated in 1940 from Hamilton High School from a class of 52 students as salutatorian. She was just 7/12 of a point from being the valedictorian, with an average of 96. She attended and graduated from Howard Payne College in Brownwood in the summer of 1945 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She earned a Master of Education degree from Sul Ross College in 1956. She also earned an extra 30 hours of education from Sul Ross after completing her Masters. Both colleges later became universities.

Mary Helen spent most of her life in the classroom either teaching or attending school. She loved doing both.

During her 37-year career, she worked five years in the Hamilton area and 32 years teaching first grade in west Texas in the town of Balmorhea. Alfred worked five days a week driving a truck for Pecos Valley Railway.

Soon after arriving Balmorhea she discovered there was no one to play the piano at the First Baptist Church where she and Alfred attended, and there was no one to play the piano at the school for the children’s progams. She did both with joy.

She never cashed her checks, but gave them to Alfred. She did not want him to feel he was not the head of their household. He was always a hard, faithful worker, and she wanted to show him respect as her husband.

Mary Helen accepted Christ as her Savior at a very young age and continued to live a Godly life until her passing. She lived by faith and believed prayer changed things and God still works miracles in people’s lives if they will trust Him. Until she could no longer speak clearly, she told all she met that Jesus Christ was the only way to Heaven.

She is preceded in death by her parents; brother Sam Drake; and niece Sarah Bone.

Survivors include nephews Alton Drake and wife Merajen and Sam Drake Jr. and wife Janis; niece Mildred Ruth Damewood and husband Garnett; many great-nieces and nephews; her Calvary Baptist Church family and friends; and close friends Jim and Virginia Townsend and their family.