Helen Bernice Witherell
Helen Bernice Witherell, 82, of Lexington, Ky., passed peacefully at home surrounded by family on May 29, 2020, after a long illness with Alzheimer's disease. Helen was born to Joseph and Frances (Foley) Holladay in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 31, 1937. She graduated from McKinley High School in 1955, and was married to the late Larry Witherell for 47 years. They lived in Germany during Larry's military service, and then returned to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Helen was a homemaker and worked at Kmart for more than 25 years. Helen and Larry later moved to Lexington to be closer to family. Helen could talk to her friends and family at the kitchen table or on the phone for hours and was a great nonjudgmental listener to many young people who viewed her as a second mother. Helen gave unconditional support to her children as they pursued their dreams. She cared for many pets, but her greatest love was her dog Pebbles, whom she spoiled for 18 years.
Helen is survived by her children, Gary Witherell and Pam Ryan; daughter-in-law, Juli Maxworthy; siblings, Joan (Curt) Kuehl, Bob (Merrily) Holladay and Don Holladay; grandchildren, Becka (Kati) Maxkensie, Trevor Langum, Kaiti Witherell, Jake Ryan and Travis Ryan; great-grandchild, Connor Maxkensie; nieces, Debbie (Roger) McDonald, Tina Quattlebaum and Heidi Holladay; and nephews, Gary (Amy) Ellis, Scott (France) Witherell and Erik (Ben) Holladay-McCann.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by in-laws, Raymond Witherell, Mildred Witherell, Don Witherell and Vaughn Witherell; and nephew, Jon Witherell.
A Celebration of Life will be held June 5, at Milward Funeral Home in Lexington, Ky. Visitation will be from 4 to 5 p.m., with a memorial service beginning at 5 p.m. EST. We welcome our remote family and friends to the service through Zoom. Contact the family for details. Donations requested to Alzheimer's Association or University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center, uky.edu/coa/adc.