Helen Laurence Howard – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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Helen Laurence Howard, 55, passed away on October 14, 2012, in Arizona. She was a native of Florence, Alabama, the only child of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Howard. She is survived by her daughter, Lauren Carroll; and her son, Jack Carroll, both of Phoenix, Arizona.

Growing up, Helen was an active member of First Presbyterian of Florence and a graduate of Coffee High School. Helen received her degree from the University of North Alabama, studying theatre and journalism. While attending UNA she was a member of the University players. She was a charter member of the Gamma Psi Chapter of the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority.

Helen developed an interest in the stage at a young age. She was active in The Gingerbread Players and in the production of the play “The Miracle Worker” in Tuscumbia, Alabama at Ivy Green. Helen started in the play in one of the children’s roles, and after many years increased her participation, eventually directing the play for several years. Once while she was directing she was asked to portray Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan in a segment on the television series “American Lifestyles”.

Helen also got her start in broadcasting in the Shoals, working at radio stations including WLAY, WQLT, and WBCF (the former WOWL). Later she moved to television as an anchor on WOWL-TV and WAAY-TV as a producer, anchor and reporter.

Eventually Helen’s career path took her to Phoenix, Arizona, where she was destined to spend much of the rest of her life. During this time there were positive changes in Helen’s life, in addition to continued career success. Helen became a mother of two children, of whom she was immensely proud after marrying Steve Carroll.

In addition to having a career and being a wife and mother, Helen was involved in many community activities in Phoenix. She was a member of the Junior League, active with the Valley Youth Theatre and worked with the American Red Cross, earning a Clara Barton Medal.

A memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on Friday, Nov.9 at 1:00 p.m. Memorial gifts may be given to the Gingerbread Players, 123 N. Seminary Street, Florence, AL. 35630, Florence, AL., or to the music program at First Presbyterian Church. You may sign the guest register at sprywilliams.com.

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