Helen Goforth

Obituary of Helen Margaret Goforth

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Helen Margaret Clary Goforth, age 92, Tulsa, OK, passed away on September 30, 2023. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Joe Goforth, her mother Ruby May Henderson Clary, her father Herman Chester Clary, her sister Nadine Paula Clary, her brother Jerry Lavon Clary, daughter-in-law Kandi Goforth and great-granddaughter Oriana Butters. She is survived by sons Andrew C. Goforth (Tammy), Scott Goforth, and daughter Joyce Hanewinkel (David), grandchildren, Callie Phillips, Marni Jacobs (Tommy), Terra Master (Hans), Andrew Goforth, Tobi Barbre, Ryan Nunes (Brandi), Alex Nunes, Eric Roe (Jenny), Lacy Ruth (Brandon), Sarah Bennefield, Doug Hanewinkel, and Blake Hanewinkel, great grandchildren, Max Phillips, Cabreil Wiggins (Dakota), Trenton Roe, Aden Jacobs, Claire Jacobs, Randi Master, Jaxon Butters, Isabella Ruth, Rhett Ruth, Brayzon Nunes, Brayleigh Nunes, Raegan  Nunes, and Isabella Nunes.


Helen Margaret Clary was a “Daddy’s girl.” Her father called her Peewee but somewhere along the way she picked up the moniker Motor Mouth. She remained a “Daddy’s girl” after she met Billy Joe Goforth (her Bill) just a few weeks shy of her thirteenth birthday.


A majorette in the high school marching band, she had a captivating and vivacious personality that accompanied her throughout her life. She freely admitted to being spoiled but explained it was her daddy’s and Bill’s fault.


Twelve days after her seventeenth birthday she married her Bill. The love of her life. They remained married for seventy-four years.


She gave birth to two sons and one daughter and mothered countless others. On birthdays she was known to call celebrants and sing happy birthday to them. She was savant-like with dates and names able to recite birth, death, and anniversary dates of those she held dear including ancestors.


Sunflowers, roses, MilkyWay candy, and Dancing were among her loves. She and Bill used to go dancing at the Trade Winds Tiki Nook club in Tulsa. At ninety-two she could be seen dancing the length of the hall into the Bistro for happy hour at the assisted living where she resided.  She also liked to entertain her physical therapist by dancing with the aid of a walker.


She was a study of contradictions. She was known for descriptive monologues on everything from recipes to genealogy. No detail was too small nor was it left out. However, a voracious reader, her main complaint about writers she didn’t enjoy was that they included too much detail.


Attention never intimidated her, in fact, she thrived on it. At the age of ninety she stalked an investigative reporter a block from her home to regale said reporter with the story of how the neighbor’s house had burned. She had slept through the fire and accompanying emergency vehicles but recounted the events with such vivid detail that she, her dog, and her story all made the local news report.


Anxious to be reunited with her Bill, she planned her escape from this earth as if she were eloping. I imagine them dancing in the heavens to the rhythm of a celestial band.


Ninde Brookside | 918.742.5556