Helen Denise DeGraffinreed was born the 20th of September 1958 to Blonnie and Emma (Webster) Johnson in Youngstown, Ohio. She graduated from North Side High School. In 1975, Helen was attending Youngstown State University where she meet her husband Steven J DeGraffinreed. They married in 1977 and enjoyed 45 years of wedded bless. They moved to Colorado Springs after Steven joined the Army. While living in Colorado Helen received her bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. She continued her education and received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychological and Criminal Investigation from the University of Las Vegas in New Mexico. After returning to Ohio, Helen and Steven settled in Canton, Ohio where she worked for many years in the Akron and Canton City School System.
Helen’s faith and belief never wavered or tired seeking to do the Lord’s work. She was a strong and faithful servant. Until Helen’s illness restricted her ability, she was a faithful member of Macedonia Baptist Church. Helen enjoyed cooking for large numbers of people. Her Macaroni and Cheese was often called out by Pastor McWain. She had a love of fashion which had nothing to compare, and shopping for those fashions was an entire joy of its own. Helen also enjoyed gardening, watching old movies with her husband and spending time with sister who affectionately called her “Rubenstien.”
Helen was a devoted Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother and Grandmother. She was proud of the three Children they raised and the six grandchildren that follow. Prouder still of the six grandchildren.
Helen peacefully transitioned this life to enter her eternal life on Saturday the 24 of September. She was proceed in death by her mother and father, two brothers, a newborn son, her oldest daughter Joi D DeGraffinreed and God Mother. She is survived by her husband Steven, two children Steven J. (Michelle) DeGraffinreed, Jr. and Jeanelle A. M. DeGraffinreed, and six grandchildren Jaminsen, Amisley, Tegan, Steven III, Jayla, and Nyota. Two brothers Vernon (Paula) Johnson, Ivan (Margie) Johnson, her sister Marilyn Johnson, and three brothers-in-law. As well as a host of nieces, nephew, cousins, and many friend who were as close as family.
ORDER OF SERVICE INFORMATION
Opening Prayer: Deacon Johnny Coleman
Two songs performed by Jamie Keys
Old Testament: Isaiah 40: 18 – 31 read by Sylvester Patton
New Testament: Matthew 5: 1 - 16 read by Deacon David DeGraffinreed
Pallbearers Steven DeGraffinreed Jr., Jeanelle DeGraffinreed, Greg Wolfe, Tim Plazak, Paul DeGraffinreed, David Driscol
Obituary read by Paula Johnson
Flower Girls: Amisley, Tegan, Jaminsen