ADRIAN - Helen Jean Earles, 85, who taught at Madison Elementary School for 25 years, died of a heart attack Tuesday in Adrian's Bixby Medical Center.
Mrs. Earles at different times taught fourth grade and kindergarten at Madison Elementary until she retired in 1976.
"Everybody knew her as a kind and gentle person," Wayne Carpenter, her son-in-law, said. "One of her former pupils came up to me just today and said that her room [in the kindergarten] was the best because it always had cookies and brownies."
A native of Lyons, Ohio, she graduated from Lyons High School in 1937 and Bowling Green State University in 1939, where she received an associate of arts degree.
In 1940, she married Charles E. Earles and became a housewife. She was a stay-at-home mom until 1951 when her son, Richard Earles, died and she began teaching at Madison Elementary and attended Siena Heights College in Adrian, from which she graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education in the late 1950s.
Her husband died in 1997 and their other son, Robert Earles, died in 2001.
Mrs. Earles attended Wellsville United Methodist Church, and was a member of the Rome Grange in Lenawee County's Rome Township, Lenawee County's Pomona Grange, the Michigan State Grange, and the national Grange.
Her other memberships included Fairfield Eastern Star No. 224; the former Adrian Order of the Eastern Star, of which she was twice a past matron; International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, from which she had the Grand Cross of Color, and the Lucy Wolcott Barnum Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution in Adrian. She was a former member of the Lenawee Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and Fairfield Baptist Church.
Surviving are her daughter, Cecelia Carpenter; sister, JoAnn Hochstetler; four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today in Wellsville United Methodist Church, Wellsville, Mich. Arrangements are by the Anderson Funeral Home, Adrian.
The family suggests tributes to Wellsville United Methodist Church or the Eastern Star Educational Fund.