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Helen Francis Houston

Obituary for Helen Francis Houston

July 21, 1920 - December 23, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 98


Helen Francis (Andrew) Long Houston -- loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and aunt -- passed away peacefully the morning of Sunday, December 23, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 98. She was born on July 21, 1920 in Twin Falls, Idaho to Herman Francis Andrew and Helene (Clark) Andrew.
Helen Francis moved with her family to San Antonio when she was in her early teens, graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1938. While in high school, she was named a princess of the royal court of the International Black & White Ball, which was founded in 1933 by Maria R. Magnon and dedicated to "the promotion of goodwill, friendship and understanding between the United States and Mexico." She also enjoyed her work with the San Antonio "Little Theater," later known as the San Pedro Playhouse.

She married John D. Long, Colonel, USAF, Retired, on May 23, 1942; the two having met at church when he came to Texas for pilot training, near the beginning of World War II. They raised two children, John David II and Helen Francis Jr., and were married for more than 35 years until his passing in 1978. She supported her husband in his military career of almost 30 years, including three years in Japan from 1957 to 1960, and two years in the Philippines from 1965 to 1967. In Japan, she found her lifelong passion when she studied floral design with M. Tanuma, founder of the Kazan School of Flower Arrangement, eventually earning her teaching certificate and designation as a "master" designer. Her love of flower arranging extended to her love of flower gardening.
She married Basil "Bud" E. Houston, Lt. Colonel, USAF, Retired, in 1988. They were together for 15 years until his death in 2003. Helen Francis and Bud enjoyed their travels very much—going on cruises and taking road trips in their RV.

Helen Francis was a lifelong Christian Scientist and a member of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, since her youth; she enjoyed teaching Sunday School for many years, especially the very young children. She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star for over 75 years.
She is survived by her son, John David Long II of Houston; daughter, Helen F. Madison and her husband, Robert C. Madison, of San Antonio; grandsons, John D. Long III of Denton, Texas and Nicholas A. Long and his wife, Elizabeth, of Brenham, Texas; seven great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews and their families. She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Col. Long; second husband, Lt. Col. Houston; sister, Bobbe A. Chamberlin; brother-in-law, Oliver Booth Chamberlin II, Lt. Colonel, USAF, Retired; niece, Sarah (Nesti) Kunkle; and many dear friends.

Many thanks to the Gross family, in particular Elisabeth and Emil and their daughter Emma, as well as the caregivers working for the Gross family, for the tender, loving care you provided to Helen Francis during the last 5+ years of her life. It was certainly a blessing to her family to know she was in such good care; and treated like she was a member of the Gross family. Thanks also to the visiting nurses and others from River City Hospice for the additional care they provided in recent months. For everyone's service and dedication, we are truly grateful.

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In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity or place of worship of your choice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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