Helen Laukes 1923 – 2016

Helen H. Laukes WMA Past National President

Helen1Helen H. Laukes, WMA Past National President (1988-1992) was born on December 4, 1923 in Evanston, Illinois to Marie and Anthony Hamen. She passed away on 1 February at Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL. Helen worked for Illinois Bell until she enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in February of 1943. She tried to enlist earlier by lying about her age, but her father would not sign so she had to wait until after December 4, 1943. Upon Marine Corps boot camp graduation, Helen went to Motor Transport School and was stationed on Parris Island, SC. She was married to Emil Laukes, a fellow Marine, in September, 1944 and transferred to Camp Lejeune Bus Section, where her husband was stationed. Unfortunately, he was transferred out a week before Helen arrived. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the Marine Corps in December of 1945, Helen went back to work for Illinois Bell Telephone until the birth of her first child in 1946 and did not go back to Illinois Bell until 1956. She finally retired from Illinois Bell in 1981 as a National Accounts Service Manager. Helen joined the Women Marine Association as a charter member, but dropped out while raising a family and working. She joined again when the IL-2 Chapter was formed in 1972. Helen held all offices in the chapter at one time or another, including National President of the Women Marine Association from 1988 – 1992. She also chaired the Recognition and Awards Committee 1984 – 1986, 1st Vice President 1986 – 1988, Chairman of the Financial Advisory Committee and Chairman of the Plans and Policy Committee.

Helen2“Helen was a important cog for our chapter (Blanche S. Osborne, IL-2). She filled a every officer post when there was on one else to take it. In past dozen years or so, she made it possible for chapter meetings to meet in her retirement community’s dining room”, said Muriel Underwood. She continues: “I, for one, as president of the chapter, will truly miss her. Since I had a stroke a couple of years ago, she sat next to me at the meetings, and helped me remember the order of business, remember to call for second approvals, and other niceties of conducting a meeting. All of us ‘running the chapter’ are 92+ years old, and Helen was the youngest! She was our historian – filled us in on past events when it was needed”. Helen was the beloved wife of the late Emil Laukes. In lieu of flowers donations to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation at www.mcsf.org would be appreciated. Interment at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery- Elwood, Illinois will be held at a future date.