A memorial service for Helen Brunell Mineau, 69, of Coos Bay, will be held at 1 pm, Saturday, March 18, 2023 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 400 Highland Avenue in Coos Bay.
Helen was born at McAuley Hospital in Coos Bay on March 7, 1953 to Dell and Jeannette Brunell of Coos River, the second of four daughters, and passed away in Coos Bay, Oregon on February 25, 2023 after a brave battle with pancreatic cancer. Cremation was held at Ocean View Memory Gardens Crematory in Coos Bay. Private interment for family members will be held at Coos River Cemetery.
She was raised on her parents’ dairy farm on Coos River, graduated from Marshfield High School in 1971, and from the University of Oregon in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health. While at the University, she joined Pi Beta Phi Sorority and organized many of their functions. She also was named an honorary member of the Pi Phi’s brother fraternity, Beta Theta Pi. After college graduation, she returned to the Bay Area, and worked for Jim and Ruth Hope at Globe Travel Agency in Pony Village. She eventually purchased the travel agency from the Hopes, and soon moved the operation to the current location on Broadway Avenue in North Bend, where she and her sister Nancy also based their ongoing Mail Box and Parcel business.
On February 29, 1992 Helen married Richard Mineau of Coos Bay, who survives her. Together with Rick, Helen was an avid sports fan, supporting both the Marshfield teams and her beloved University of Oregon Ducks, attending all of the home and many of the away and Bowl games. She and Rick, together with many friends from college days, organized elaborate tailgaters in the Autzen Stadium parking lot. Helen was affectionately known as “The Duck Lady” to the children and grandchildren of her Duck family. She enjoyed organizing these functions very much, as they were a natural outgrowth of her catering business, Helen’s Unlimited, for various gatherings around the Bay area.
Her organizational skills and drive to be involved led her into many local charities, committees and boards beginning in her youth and throughout her life. She was not one to sit on the sidelines if she perceived that she could make a contribution to her community. Among the organizations she was involved in at various times over the years were 4-H, On Stage Dance Studio, Job’s Daughters, Marshfield Athletics where she Lettered in Track and Field, the University of Oregon Alumni Association, the Coos Bay Chamber of Commerce, Soroptimists of Coos Bay, Soroptimists of Reedsport, trainer at Bay Area Athletic Club, Raffle Queen, PEO Chapter CS, Downtown Health and Fitness trainer, Daughters of the Nile, Duck Athletic Fund Donor, bookkeeper for Coos Food Cupboard, and leader of the Coos River School Alumni Scholarship Fund.
As involved with all these organizations as she was, her service as a member and eventually chairman of the Coos County Airport District Board was probably closest to her heart. With her background and deep knowledge of the travel industry, airline company contacts and governmental agencies, she worked hard with other Board Members to construct the new terminal for the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport, secure regular airline service to San Francisco International Airport, construct new hangars, airside facilities and tenant buildings such as the new State of Oregon offices on the Airport grounds.
Besides her husband Rick, Helen leaves behind her sister, Nancy Layne, who has worked with Helen for the last twelve years. She also leaves behind her nephews, Lance Mona and wife, Alita, and their three children and Kyle Mona and his three children; cousins, John, Frank and Michael Whitty; and extended Whitty clan.
She also leaves behind a host of friends, all of whom will miss her very much.
Whenever Helen traveled, no matter what mode of transportation, she always found someone that she knew.
All in all, a very full life, well lived, and she is off to her next adventure.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Coos River School Alumni Scholarship c/o 2670 Broadway Ave, North Bend, OR 97459.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com
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