Floral 05

Helen Louise Chavis

August 16, 1924 ~ November 12, 2020 (age 96)


Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His service - Psalms 116:5

Helen Louise Chavis was transitioned into the loving embrace of God on November 12, 2020 from the SECU Hospice House of Johnston Health, Smithfield, North Carolina.

Helen was born Helen Louise Foster on August 16, 1924 in Raleigh, North Carolina to the late William and Nancy Foster. She was preceded in death by her two younger siblings, Paul, and Hazel. Helen was married for 53 years to her loving husband, William H. Chavis, Sr. who died on Thanksgiving Eve in 1996. 

Helen was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and was raised in Newark, New Jersey from the age of seven. Helen was known as a happy child with a good sense of humor which characterized her life. She had high energy and spirit. She was known by her family as a “teenager” for her ability to keep up with current events, and modern trends in culture, fashion and music without losing the solid values instilled by her parents. 

Helen was the life of the party! She loved to laugh a lot and eat a wide variety of foods. She was extremely generous, especially to her children and grandchildren.  She found pleasure in giving to others, whether through monetary gifts or personally reaching out in the hope that it would positively change their lives. 

Helen graduated from South Side High School in Newark, New Jersey. During a family visit to Raleigh from New Jersey, Helen met William as teenagers. Their love affair culminated in marriage on May 2, 1943, and they raised six children: William, Leonard, Dennis, Linda, Valerie and Anthony. 

Helen diligently served the Lord Jesus at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. She was an active member in the choir and on the usher board. When her son, Rev. Dr. William H. Chavis, Jr., became the pastor of The First Baptist Church of Hillside, Hillside, New Jersey, she became a member in June, 1984. Helen and her husband decided to move to Garner, North Carolina upon retirement in 1989.  Once settled, she became a member at Compassionate Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina that same year. As “Mother of the Church” she continued to faithfully serve God at Compassionate as a Senior Mission Auxiliary member. 

Helen received a “Certificate of Appreciation” from the Township of Garner on January 20, 2006 for her 6 years of outstanding service as a member of the Senior Citizen’s Advisory Committee. For years, she worked tirelessly to advance her community by participating and delivering “Meals on Wheels” until she retired her services in 2007. 

Helen was crowned as “Mother of the Year” in June, 2010 by the Wendell-Wake County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. As an avid advocator for education, she raised more than $3,800 to help support funds for the NAACP’s scholarship program. As a member of the Garner Senior Center, she held the position of treasurer of the “Golden Age” and “Joy” clubs. 

Helen was a sports enthusiast and an avid bowler. She loved to watch professional and college basketball, especially North Carolina basketball. She never took life for granted and used her own life as an example of how God could choose anyone for His glory regardless of age, race, gender or disabilities. The words “Thank you” were freely spoken by her for even minor graciousness she received by others. 

Helen leaves to cherish her memory and beloved children: William (Jacqueline), Leonard (Yvonne), Dennis (Karen), Linda (Plummer), Valerie and Anthony (Kikue), fourteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and various friends who she loved dearly.

Virtual Service:  11:00AM, Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at Lea Funeral Home Chapel, 2500 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC.

Public Visitation:  1:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Monday, November 16, 2020 at Lea Funeral Home, 2500 Poole Road, Raleigh, NC.

Interment:  Carolina Biblical Gardens, Garner, NC.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Louise Chavis, please visit our floral store.


November 16, 2020

1:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Lea Funeral Home
2500 Poole Rd
Raleigh, NC 27610

Virtual Service
November 17, 2020

11:00 AM
Lea Funeral Home Chapel
2500 Poole Road
Raleigh, NC 27610


Carolina Biblical Gardens
1530 Creech Road
Garner, NC 27529

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