Helen May Oxenham (nee Weitzel) passed away on February 15 in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the age of 93. Born October 30, 1918 in Washington DC, she was the youngest of six children and a life-long resident of the Washington and Bethesda area.
Helen graduated from Western High School in 1936, and was employed as a secretary. In 1940 she married Robert (Bob) Oxenham, a fellow long-time member of Georgetown Presbyterian Church. Mr. Oxenham was a University of Virginia graduate and an associate at Schinnerer and Company, an insurance agency. He served as a Naval Officer in the South Pacific during World War II. They had three children, Anne Malone, Joan Pyne and John Oxenham. Helen and Bob were very involved in the life of the Bethesda Presbyterian Church. At her death she was its longest-standing active member. Helen and Bob owned a summer home in Ocean City, NJ for many years and enjoyed the beach with their children and grandchildren and many long-time friends. They also enjoyed boating, and golf and dining at Atlantic City Country Club as well as Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda.
An avid volunteer, Helen served as President of the Inner Wheel Club of Washington, as a member of the Women's Board of the Presbyterian Home, as Chairman of the Presbyterian Women's organization at Bethesda church, and as an enthusiastic and capable Scout Leader. She and Bob were also involved in community activities while they lived at Rossmoor Leisure World. Following his death in 1986, Helen continued to serve on several committees and support the Interfaith Chapel as a Bible Study Moderator and Bell-Ringer. She took pleasure in gardening and playing the piano and bridge and steadfastly upheld the family tradition of entertaining and cooking for extended family and friends, especially at holiday gatherings.
In 2007 she moved to Ingleside at Rock Creek, the former Presbyterian Home, joining her cousin Louise Winfield and sister-in-law Virginia Weitzel. There she participated in activities organized or sponsored by the Women's Board, such as the Silver Tea and Spring Fashion Show. Prior to her death she relocated to Sunrise Senior Living in Silver Spring. The resident cat sought her out, somehow sensing she had always been a cat-lover.
Helen May will be remembered for her generous spirit and strong faith, and her loyalty and sense of responsibility to her family, friends, and community. A service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, July 28, at 2 pm at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, 7611 Clarendon Road, Bethesda MD 20814. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Helen May's memory to Bethesda Presbyterian Church or to Union Presbyterian Seminary, Oxenham Faculty Support Fund, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227.
Read Helen Oxenham's Obituary and Guestbook on pumphreyfuneralhome.com.