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Helen Juanita Whitmore

March 9, 1928 ~ May 8, 2019 (age 91)

Helen Juanita Taylor was born March 9, 1928 to Paul and Eustasia Taylor in Mount Vernon Illinois.  She passed away at the age of 91 in Ripon. Helen was the third of six children. She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Iva L Costa and Pauline “Penny” Tancreto.  She is survived by her children, Bob  (Trilby) Whitmore of San Bernardino, Ron (Miriam) Whitmore of Halesworth, England, and Julie (Jim) Smit of Ripon, grandchildren, Ed (Lou) Whitmore of Stafford, England, Cindy (Tim) Hibbard of Turlock, Kevin (Ryan) Smit of Herriman Utah, and three great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her siblings George Taylor, Susie Holley and Paul Taylor all of Ripon.

Helen’s family lived in several locations before moving to Ripon where they settled permanently. She attended Ripon High graduating in 1945.  She married Robert E Whitmore in 1948 divorcing in 1965. Helen never remarried, devoting herself to her family.

Helen worked for the California Department of Motor Vehicles starting at age 19, retiring in 1988 as the Assistant Manager in Manteca.  In her career with the DMV she worked in many locations some of them being Modesto, Stockton, Tracy, Sonora and Manteca.  Her responsibilities covered everything from vehicle registration to driving examiner and finally management. Friends and neighbors often called upon Helen to help them with DMV paperwork.  She prided herself on being the “Ripon DMV” and was happy to help.

After retirement she enjoyed trips to Tahoe with her three sisters, Iva, Penny, and Susie. Family was very important to Helen, helping out where or whenever she could. She also believed in contributing to her community and volunteered as a docent at the Clarence Smit Museum. She also served as a commissioner for the Ripon Historical Society.  Helen loved discovering Ripon’s History and the people who made it, adding information to the museum’s displays. She would often open the museum on days it was closed to special groups or families visiting from out of town. 

There will be a public viewing on Friday, May 31, 2019 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel, 111 S. Palm Ave., Ripon. Graveside services will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. in Ripon Cemetery and a reception will follow at 3:00 p.m. at Ripon Free Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 218 W Main Street, Ripon.  Friends are welcome to attend.

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