Helen Anna Pientka Strother, 92, died Monday, April 13, 2009 at her home following a period of declining health. She was born in Russell County, VA on July 28, 1916 and was a daughter of the late Constant and Mary Koulesia Pientka who were natives of Poland. Helen graduated from Dante Central High School in June, 1935 and also graduated from the Grace Hospital School of Nursing in September 1938. She did her post graduate studies at the Cook County School of Anesthesia in Chicago, ILL and returned to Morganton to work at Grace Hospital until her retirement on July 28, 1978. Helen received numerous awards for outstanding work at Grace Hospital including being the first recipient of the Golden Grace Award in March of 1992. Upon her retirement, after a total of thirty-nine years of service, Helen was honored to have a new quadrant at Grace Hospital named in her honor, "The Helen P. Strother Quad."Surviving are her husband, Joffre W. Strother, whom she married on June 6, 1945; a brother, Joe Pientka, of Petersburg, VA; nephews, Ron Strother Sime and Steve Vaughn Sime both of Lenoir; a niece Susie Loy of Texas; and numerous great nieces and nephews.Helen was the oldest of seven children all of whom preceded her death except for her brother, Joe.Graveside services will be held at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at Burke Memorial Park with Rev. Bruce Walker officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Episcopal Church, 303 S. King St., Morganton, NC 28655. Sossoman Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
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