The Saratoga Sun -

Helen Brent VanElls


Mrs. Helen Brent VanElls of Halifax, Va., formerly of Encampment, Wyo., passed away peacefully Saturday, February 27, 2016. She was preceded in death by her parents Thomas Sargent Brent, Jr. and Nannie Mae Squires Brent of Kilmamock, Va., a sister, Margaret Susan Muir and husband Paul; first husband Dean Samuel Chambers and second husband Dr. Lester VanElls. She was born October 11, 1919 in Kilmamock, Va. and graduated from Peace College in 1940 and Duke University in 1942 with a B.A. degree in English and History. She was one of the first to join the Womens’s Auxiliary of the United States Army at the beginning of World War II. Upon returning to Kilmarmock, she taught history at Northumberland High School. She was active in many community organizations, often serving as president and was a beloved Girl Scout leader and Red Cross swimming instructor. Later in life, she moved to the Rocky Mountains and fulfilled her lifelong dream of owning and raising horses, becoming an accomplished horsewoman, riding well into her 80s. She was a history enthusiast, an avid reader, loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed spending time riding her horse, Easter. After moving to Halifax, Va. she enjoyed visits to the Northern Neck and spending time with her family and friends. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Chambers Stanley and husband Dennis of Halifax, Va. Three grandchildren, Mary Helen Stafford and husband Mathew of Vernon Hill, Va., Margaret Stanley Arbogast and husband Brent of Harrisonburg, Va., and Edward Reed Stanley II and wife Ryan of Halifax, Va. Seven great grandchildren; Riverson and Forrest Stafford, Taylor, Helen Gracyn and Easton Arbogast, and Claire and Nora Mae Stanley. Many dear friends of Encampment, Wyo.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Jill Allen and the staff of Primrose Park at Meadowview Terrace in Clarksville, Va.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sentara Halifax Hospice, 2204 Wilborn Ave., South Boston, Va. 24592

Memorial services will be held at 11a.m. on March 5 at the Powell Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Al Marguerat officiating.

The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. March 5, one hour prior to the service and at other times at her home of 1050 Lakeshore Drive, Halifax, Va.

Online condolences may be directed to

Arrangements are by: Powell Funeral Home, 1603 Wilborn Ave., South Boston Va., 24592.


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