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Helen Louise Gray Sauvageau
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Obituary for Helen Louise Gray Sauvageau

Helen Louise Gray Sauvageau, over 100 years old, passed away Friday afternoon December 29, 2017. She left peacefully with the hospice chaplain singing a prayer psalm, her daughter holding her hand, and her long serving caregiver, Lyuda, in attendance.
Funeral Services for Helen will be Tuesday, January 2 at Overman-Jones Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 15219 S. Joliet Rd., Plainfield. Calling hours will be 10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon with service at 12:00 Noon, including military honors. A private family burial will follow at Plainfield Township Cemetery.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Sue; her niece, Helen (Dwight) Baker, their children Margaret and David; nephew, Jeffrey (Sue) Gray and their children Catherine and Megan. She leaves behind an army of friends, younger relatives, neighbors, her oldest friend Harriet Glasgow, her super caregiver Lyuda, and her frequent visitors and great helpers George, Jim, Alice, Mary, Pat, Nancy, Bunk, Melitha, Cathy, Rick, Susie….there are too many to name, but she cared deeply for all of you. She was preceded in death by her parents, Howard and Margaret Gleason Gray, her sister, Margaret Martin and brother, Robert Gray; her former husband Vernie Sauvageau; significant friend, Ray Offerman; and her treasured son Stevan.
Helen’s 100 eventful years were celebrated March 25, 2017 in the activities room of the Plainfield Methodist Church with great help from the historical society, church members, and numerous friends and family. 100’s attended sharing cake and good memories. She was born March 25, 1917 at home at the corner of Mill St and Naperville Road to Margaret and Howard Gray. With her siblings she grew up on the Gray Farm enjoying farm life and her beloved DuPage River. Helen attended Plainfield Schools and graduated from high school during the great depression. Cheap entertainment for those years meant attending dances. Helen danced a lot! She landed a job at the Plainfield Grain Company where she did office work and weighed loads of grain. With the US entry into WWII, the navy opened its doors to women recruits. Helen signed on as a WAVE in January 1943, and trained at Hunter College in NY and Memphis TN. She was stationed at Corpus Christi TX where she fixed airplanes, and met and married a sailor from Minnesota named Vernie Sauvageau.
Except for her service time, Helen was a life resident of Plainfield. A birdwatcher, conservationist, church lady, scout leader, Helen lead an active life, contributed to many local projects, and always advocated for those who needed it. She always enjoyed swimming, gardening, horseback riding, and many outdoor activities. Kids gathered at her home for skating, baseball and wading in the DuPage River. Many, in addition to her own, were hauled to swimming lessons, boy scout and girl scout camps and Methodist church activities. Helen was active in the League of Women Voters. She was always civic minded and paid attention to politics throughout her long life.
For many years Helen did bookkeeping for Clegg’s Nursery and worked in Jones Hardware. She also served on the cemetery board. Helen was a founding member of the Plainfield Historical and for many years acted as a human encyclopedic resource on Plainfield places and personalities of the past. She has had an eventful run.
For those who prefer, memorials in Helen's honor may be made to: Defenders of Wildlife, 1130 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036, National Audubon Society, 225 Varick St., New York, NY 10014 or to any Veteran's group would be appreciated.

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Previous Events





10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Overman-Jones Funeral Home

15219 Joliet Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60544





12:00 PM
Overman-Jones Funeral Home

15219 Joliet Rd.
Plainfield, IL 60544

Cemetery Details


Plainfield Township Cemetery

15408 South Joliet Road
Plainfield, IL 60544

Memorial Contribution

Veterans Group of Donor's Choice

National Audobon Society

225 Varick Street
7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Defenders of Wildlife

1130 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

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