Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 7, 2013

Helen “Sis” Warden Black 1923-2013


The Independent

ASHLAND — Sis Black passed away peacefully with family members at her side on April 4, 2013, in Annapolis, Md.

She was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., on Dec. 18, 1923, the daughter of the late David Royal and Hazel Ramage Warden.

She was raised in Bluefield, W.Va., and graduated from Beaver High School, where she was an excellent academic student, class leader and athlete. During this time she attained the title of the national drum majorette champion in Chicago for the Bluefield Drum and Bugle Corps, which won first place at the American Legion National Convention. Upon graduation, Sis attended Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va., and the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., until 1943. She then entered the Army Air Corps to “help win the war.” Her initial assignment as an aerial photographer was to Stewart Field in New York. After marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Joseph Sanders Black, in April 1944, she was reassigned to Victoria, Texas, as a link trainer.

After the war, Sis obtained her degree in education from the University of Virginia in May 1948. During her marriage she resided in Mullens, W.Va., Waynesboro, Va., Camden, S.C., Ashland, Ky., Chester, Va., and Virginia Beach. Many wonderful years were spent in teaching, with her later years spent in special education. During this time Sis’ athleticism and enthusiasm led to coaching successful basketball and swimming teams.

Above all, Sis’ devotion to her family was her main priority in life. To rear children that were good Christians and Americans was her main objective. Time with family at her beach cottage in Buxton, N.C., was heavenly to her.

She was also predeceased by her loving husband, Joseph Sanders, on May 17, 2002, and her brother, Stacey Blair Warden.

Sis is survived by four devoted children, David (Louise), Bethea, Montine (Bert), and Sandy (Rhonda); 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; a brother, Dr. David Royal Warden; and two sisters, Marion Warden Loesch and Susan Warden Neal.

Throughout her life, Sis had a close affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. She was also a loyal member of the Fairbanks Family Association.

 A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. June 8, 2013, with family and friends in Bluefield, W.Va., at Christ Episcopal Church, with committal in the Memorial Garden.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 639, Buxton, N.C. 27920.  

The family would like to express deep gratitude to all the nursing staff for the loving care and compassion.