Cover photo for Helen Marie Gillenwater's Obituary
Helen Marie Gillenwater Profile Photo
1938 Helen 2024

Helen Marie Gillenwater

September 14, 1938 — January 20, 2024

Helen Marie “Nancy” Gillenwater, 85, of Bluefield passed peacefully at her home on January 20, 2024 after a long brave fight with Alzheimer Dementia.  

She was born in McComas, WV on September 14, 1938, to Robie “Jay” Dawson and Blanche G. Hicks.  She was later cared for by her grandparents Flem and Alice Hicks.

Nancy was a beautiful sassy soul who loved caring for her grandchildren, working in her flower gardens, spending time with her family and making her house feel like a home to all that entered.  She retired from retail therapy where she met and cherished a host of friends.

In addition to her parents and grandparents, she was proceeded in death by her loving son William “Gill” Gillenwater Jr; Brothers: Vernon Dawson, Tommy Queen, and Ronnie Dawson; Sisters: Barbara Graham and Darlene Dove.  

Left to cherish her memory, she is survived by her loving husband of 66 years, William “WD” Gillenwater; Daughters include Brenda Browning and her husband Steve and Tina Goff and her companion Derrick “JJ” Robinson; Daughter in Law Becky Gillenwater; Brothers include John Dawson, Jackie Queen, Bobby Queen, and Ronnie Queen.  Sisters include Linda Belcher, Sandra Mongold, Patricia White, Alice Kiser, and Debra Meek. Grandchildren include Jill Ann Fitzwater (Derek), McKay Gillenwater, Hunter Browning (Bethany), Mallori Goff (Brandon), Alex Browning, and Kelsi Ratcliff (Tanner).  Great grandchildren include Emma Fitzwater and Sadie Mae Ratcliff.

The family would also like to acknowledge her loving niece Leeta Quillian Collins for her time and dedication over the past few months offering aid and skills for caregiving.

Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 11:00 AM at the Cravens-Shires Funeral Home Chapel in Bluewell with Rev. Rick Lindamood officiating. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton. 

Friends may call prior to services on Saturday, from 10:00-11:00 AM at the funeral home. 

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donation be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Marie Gillenwater, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 27, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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