Helen Alberta Spansail Thruston, 100, of Pinehurst, ID, passed away peacefully on November 2, 2023 at Pacifica of Pinehurst. Helen was born on January 14, 1923 in Chino, CA, a daughter of Ralph Lee Spansail and Lela Minnie Jones. The family moved around fairly often, but Helen spent most of her childhood in and around Los Angeles, CA.
Helen trained as an ambulance driver during WWII and was a skilled airplane spotter for possible Japanese invasion along the California coast. She worked in an airplane factory during the war, installing clips and wiring harnesses inside airplanes.
Helen eloped to Yuma, AZ with Owen Carl Thruston in January of 1943 and their first son arrived in Feburay of 1944. The family then settled in Fortuna, CA in the redwood rainforest, where they made their home for over 30 years. Helen had a 20 year career as a school cook, but considered raising her children her greatest accomplishment.
Her family made the decision to place Helen at Pacifica of Pinehurst at the end of March 2023 to receive care.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Owen; and a son, David Michael.
Helen is survived by two sons, Kenneth and Steven Thruston; a daughter, Sandra Conlee; as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.
Private family services will be held. Donations in Helen’s memory may be made to Auburn Crest Hospice, 1221 W. Ironwood Dr. #102, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
Memories of Helen and messages of condolence may be shared with her family online at www.shoshonefuneralservice.com. Shoshone Funeral Services, Kellogg, is assisting the Thruston family with arrangements.