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Around Our Town...People

11/01/2004 - "I don't think we should call her Grandma Helen, I think we should call her

Grandma Heaven . . . because she's so sweet!" says one of Helen Beard's "adopted"


"Grandma Heaven" has spent fifty-five of her eighty-nine years in Casper. She

won the hearts of four siblings whose grandparents live in another state. They decided to

"adopt" her.

"She makes a great grandma. I want to be just like her when I'm eighty-nine!"

says another of the four children.

Grandma Heaven was born in a sodhouse in Nebraska on March 9, 1915. Her

mother died of scarlet fever when she was ten and she lived with various relatives and

friends until she was married in the nineteen thirties.

"I was seventeen." she tells us. "He was my 'schoolgirl crush'! We met at church

in Longmont, Colorado when I was fifteen. At the time there wasn't even a high school

there because the town was so small. I had Dorothy, my first child, when I was eighteen."

Her husband pastored a church they built in Loveland, Colorado for eleven years.

They moved to Casper in June of 1949. "When we first moved here the area that is now

the Hilltop shopping center was just prairie. I'll never forget when Casper became home

to me. We took a trip to Loveland, and it had changed so much! When we got back to

Casper, I realized that it was home."

Grandma Heaven says that her fondest memories of her time in Casper were the

day they dedicated the church that she and her husband pastored for twenty-five years,

and the day her first grandbaby, Dwight Dean, was born. He is now fifty-three years old.

She also tells us that fairs and rodeos were highlights. "Especially with the children."

She and her husband lived in a house right beside the church. The house is no

longer there and the building that once housed their church is now the La Costa

restaurant. "How things have changed!"

Grandma Heaven recalls going frequently to Bennet's restaurant on the corner of

CY and Poplar, now occupied by Karen and Jim's Restaurant. She used to shop at the

Elk Street Grocery, which once stood in the current location of Johnny J's. Now Grant

Street grocery delivers to her house as she no longer drives. "They're very friendly and

obliging," she says.

Her husband was a hunter. When asked if they processed their own meat her eyes

open wide and she shakes her head. "Nooo! We used Indian Ice. They don't process

meat anymore." They still deliver ice to many stores in Casper.

All of her sons and grandsons are now pastors or missionaries carrying on their

father's legacy. Her pastor, Ron Blauvelt of Faith Assembly of God says, "Though she is

in her retirement years she continues to bless her church. Hundreds of people have been

touched by her life."

We asked Grandma Heaven to describe the most unusual thing that happened

during her time in Casper. "That was probably when they began to build the Eastridge

Mall." she says. "It was a very big deal."

"Casper is a great city that offers just about everything." she says. When asked

what she likes best about Casper she answers without hesitation, "The people! They're so

friendly. Everyone makes you feel at home."

Summing up her feelings about Casper, Grandma Heaven says, "It's just home!"

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Chris Walsh

Let's Get Thin MD

Visions Plus Inc.

Creature Comforts
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