Helen M. McCarraher - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Helen M. McCarraher

August 29, 1918 - February 15, 2017

Helen M. McCarraher, 98, of Clayton, DE, went home to her Maker on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Born in Philadelphia, PA on August 29, 1918, she was a daughter of the late Herbert F. and Elouise (Smith) Montgomery. Helen was a member of Ewell’s St. Paul United Methodist Church and the Lillian Smith Senior Center in Clayton. She enjoyed keeping up on the latest news, talking with her friends and family, traveling, and getting out of the house for shopping and meals.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Wilber Mummert and David McCarraher; daughter, Patricia Layton; brother, William T. Montgomery; and sister, Jane White McWhorter. She is survived by her children, Harry F. Cook of Raleigh, NC and Susan M. Hansen (Richard) of Perryville, MD; son-in-law, Charles F. Layton of Wilmington; grandchildren, Joyce Simmons (Eric) of Bear, Lizbeth Thompson (Kristopher) of Milford, Barbara Bright (Geoff) of Pittsboro, NC, Beth Cook of Osaka, Japan and Howard Hansen of Perryville, MD; 9 great grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; and a host of extended family and friends.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 9:30 until 10:30 am on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE 19720, where a funeral service will begin at 10:30 am. Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Helen’s memory to Ewell’s St. Paul United Methodist Church, 401 West Street, Clayton, DE 19938.


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4 Condolences for Helen M. McCarraher

  • So sorry for your loss – she was a great lady & I know she will be missed!

  • Helen was a Mother-in-Law, a friend and an all around wonderful lady. 50 years after my divorce and miles apart we still managed to keep in touch. I was lucky to have such a lovely lady in my life. I know she will be missed by her family and those who knew her.

  • Though it has been a long time since we have been together, I have thought often of Aunt Tess (especially when she and my Mom went to Nova Scotia together). The world is a smaller place for her loss. I lost my Mom years ago, but I miss her still.

  • Helen was my grandmother. When I was a child my mother, Jean Desmarais, and my father, John Mummert took me often to visit Helen and Wilber. After my parents parted, my mother continued the relationship with her in-laws in part so I would have a relationship with my grandparents. I remember Helen’s mother too, who lived with them for many years and who gave me silver dollars sometimes. I still have them, some dating back to the late 1800s! Helen looked after her mother. She wouldn’t have had it any other way. Helen was always jovial, loving, compassionate, and generous. When I was engaged to be married at an early age, my grandmother crocheted an afghan for me and gave me her mother’s beautiful china set. I still have and use them both. She also gave me other gifts over the years. Later as an adult when I moved away from Delaware we kept in touch, but not as often, especially after my grandfather died. However, as the years passed I realized how important it was to keep in touch with her, so I started to call and I visited her when I took a trip from New England to South Carolina. I made it a point to stop and see my grandmother. It had probably been twenty-five years since I had seen her. After that I moved to California and haven’t made it back to Delaware, but I continued to call her once a year, which wasn’t enough I realize, but she never chided me for not calling more often. She was always happy to hear from me and we’d talk a while, catching up on all that had happened in our lives. I learned much about her from those conversations: her marriages, her travels – for she loved to travel, her other grandchildren and her children, and her love for God and the Bible. I also learned how strong and resilient she was. She had experienced trying times and many losses, and endured them all. I worried about her as she became older, in her 90s, for before that she was a dynamo! She took care of others over the years, but now she was living alone taking care of herself, which became quite a feat considering her very poor eyesight and other unfortunate ailments. Fortunately she had her daughter close by and her son who could be there in a short plane ride. And she also had a friend in her neighborhood who helped her regularly. Helen said her friend needed her and it was apparent that Helen needed her friend. It sounded like a perfect relationship because my grandmother needed to be of service – and she needed to be independent. It was wonderful she remained in her home so long, the place she was most comfortable, enjoying this independence. She led a long delightful life, I think because she refused to allow darkness to overcome the light that she had. It was bright and beautiful and I know she is so happy to be with God, enveloped in His love that she knew intimately. I offer deep sympathy to Susan and Harry and other family members and to Helen’s friends.