Reno resident Helen E. James died July 17, 2009, in a nursing home in Las Vegas.
She was born in Juneau to Fred and Ellen Harris. She was of the Eagle moiety from the Wooshketaan Clan. She came from a large family, originating from Berner's Bay, and was proud of her Tlingit heritage.
She was a shareholder in Sealaska Corp. and Kootznoowoo Inc.
She spent many years away from home, living in Angoon, Anchorage, Seattle, California, Arizona, and most recently in Las Vegas. Friends and family remember her fondly for her love of music by Jimmy Swaggart and Hank Williams Sr.
She loved to play bingo, and every time she played, she would sit with her mom, Ellen, in her favorite spot. She visited with her many friends, always laughing and sharing a catchy smile with all. She loved to eat traditional foods. She did this on each visit home, especially when she went to Angoon with her daughter, Tina.
She was preceded in death by her father, Frederick Harris Sr.; mother, Ellen G. Harris; great-grandparents, Charlie and Mary (Phillips) Green; grandmother, Annie Eldemar; sisters, Annie Kitka/Friberg and Cecelia Kitka/Charles; brothers, James, Willis and Johnny Kitka; and Fredrick, Marley and Marvel Harris; aunts, Helen Sulpid, Lucretia Eldemar, Elaine Etukeok, Dora Quarel, Elsie Credo, Bessie Visaya and Katherine Mills; uncles, John Green, Gilbert Mills Sr., Edward Sarabia Sr., John Eldemar and David Eldemar.
Other relatives that need to be mentioned include Mary Brown, Lucy Hanson, Albert and Edward Sakamoto; and nephew, Willie Watson.
She is survived by her daughters, Tina Gamble (husband Edward Jr.), Cecelia Friberg-Rodriguez, and Shannon James of Juneau; brothers, Stanley Harris Jr. and Casey Lanz of Juneau; sisters, Katherine White, Mynita Gonzales, Angie Porter and Marlene Harris, all of Juneau; uncle, Daniel Eldemar; aunts, Irene Lampe and Helen Sarabia of Juneau; 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Special mention of the Mills family members of Hoonah.
Honorary pallbearers will be George Mills, Patrick Mills, Tony Mills, Dan Eldemar, Jerry Eldemar, Russell James, Herman James, Paul James, Elliott James, John McCluskey, Frank McCluskey and Edward Gamble, Jr., Evangeline Howard and Angie Johnson.
A memorial service will be held on at 7 p.m. today, July 24, at the Church of God.
Memorial donations may be made to Mary John at 209-8328 or PO Box 20184, Juneau, AK 99802.