Salem Soldier Turns 100

by Cari Arias – 

L TO R: Captain Mary Norton, Helen Raynor and Marion Crenshaw

On February 3, 2003, Helen Marie Bourque Raynor celebrated her 100th birthday. A soldier of the Salem Citadel Corps in the Cascade Division, Helen shares with her Corps Officers, Captains Darren and Mary Norton, several memories from the past 100 years.

Born in Palestine, Texas, Helen grew up as a twin. Her first job was as a dress designer, and by the age of 24, Helen owned her own business—quite a feat for a woman her age. She married at the age of 18 in Oklahoma.

Helen served in the US Army 1943-1945, during World War II in the South Pacific as a Japanese translator. Upon her return in 1945, she and her husband moved to Salem, Oregon.

She was first introduced to The Salvation Army in 1972, where she has remained ever since. Helen is an active Home League member who loves needlework and baking. When asked dietary advice in terms of longevity, Helen responds, “Eat everything you like…especially chocolate and candy.” Over the years, what she has seen as the biggest change in our culture has been “women in pants.”

This active and loving soldier of the Army shares her favorite life verse: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”

(Proverbs 3:6).


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