Helen Louise Burgess McVey, 92, died Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at home in Lebanon with her husband of 72 years, James F. “Jim” McVey, and her three children at her side.
Helen graduated from Lebanon High School in 1938 and married Jim two years later. With the exception of a few brief periods during World War II and in the early 1950s, Helen has lived in Lebanon. Born April 18, 1920, Helen was the fourth of five children of William and Idyllwynn (Bogart) Burgess.
While still in high school, Helen worked for her brother, Keith (Bud) Burgess, at the Burgess Grill. Over the years she worked for a number of other Lebanon firms including Pioneer Equitable Insurance Company, Delpark Filters and Lau Division of Philips Industries. She retired from Lau in 1985.
A lover of travel and learning, Helen saw all of the 50 states while traveling with her husband and their children. Helen and Jim were motorcycling enthusiasts who biked to both coasts and made numerous other motorcycle trips over the years. Their first major motorcycle trip was in 1941, when they traveled 2400 miles along the East Coast. Their last major motorcycle trip occurred in 1982, when they traveled from Lebanon to the West Coast on a 6,600 mile trip. After retiring, they routinely rode their motorcycle to Chicago, Michigan, New Jersey and Colorado to visit their children and grandchildren.
In 1988, Helen and Jim took a long-dreamed-of three-month van trip around the perimeter of the U.S., always taking the road closest to the border, even if it was little more than a dirt track. Three years later they took a 2-1/2-month driving trip through Alaska. Interested in other cultures and sights outside the U.S., they also traveled to Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, China, and various countries in Continental Europe.
Helen was a member of Centenary Methodist Church, Tri Kappa and Daughters of the American Revolution.
Survivors include her husband, James F. McVey; children, Bill (wife Leoni), Rick and Jean Ellen (husband Dan); grandchildren, Jennifer (partner Susan), Melanie, Mark (wife Elizabeth) and Alana; great grandson, Andrew; sister-in-law, Virginia Burgess; and nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her four brothers and sisters, George M. Burgess, Sybil E. Perkins, E. Keith Burgess and Elizabeth J. Burgess.
Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Myers Mortuary, 1502 N. Lebanon St., Lebanon. Funeral services will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Centenary Methodist Church, 910 Fordice Road, Lebanon. Interment will take place at Oak Hill Cemetery immediately following Saturday’s service.
Online condolences may be made at www.myersmortuary.com.