Helen Evans Strickland

Helen Evans Strickland, 72, of Quitman, MS passed away June 25, 2021 at her home in Raytown, MO with her children and grandchildren by her side.

Helen was born on February 23, 1949 to James W. Evans and Louise Sykes Evans in Quitman, MS. She grew up in Central, LA and was baptized at the Baton Rouge Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church at age 13. Helen married the love of her life, Bobby Strickland, in 1985.

Helen graduated from Central High School in 1967. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a minor in English from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1971. She later attended graduate school and received a Masters of Education degree in Library Media from the University of West Alabama in 1997.

Helen enjoyed a long 31-year career in education. During the early part of her career she taught mostly English. She taught at Jefferson Junior Academy and Old River Academy in the 1972-1973 school year in New Orleans, LA and New Roads, LA, respectively. She taught at Pine Hills Academy in Gloster, MS from 1974-1976. She spent one year teaching at Whynot Academy in Meridian, MS from 1976-1977. From 1977-1982, she taught at Clarke Academy in Pachuta, MS. Helen taught history at Quitman High School in Quitman, MS from 1982-1985. She spent ten years at Quitman Junior High School from 1991-2001. During her first five years there, Helen taught history. Once she received her M.Ed. degree, she spent the next five years as the school librarian. Helen became the 7th & 8th grade teacher at Eastwood Junior Academy (an SDA school) in Columbus, OH from 2001-2003. She then worked as the English teacher and librarian at Enterprise Adventist Academy in Enterprise, KS from 2003-2005. She ended her career as the English teacher and librarian at Valley Grande Adventist Academy (VGAA) in Weslaco, TX from 2005-2009. It was during the 2005-2006 school year at VGAA that she taught with her son, Jonathan.

Helen was a fourth generation SDA who loved the Lord and never met a person who she did not share Jesus with. Her faith in Jesus was especially strong and important to her. Her favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, and her favorite hymn was “In the Sweet By and By”. She faithfully studied the SDA Adult Sabbath School lesson each week. She loved to read, a joy she passed on to her children. Her favorite holiday was Christmas while her favorite dessert was coconut cake. She loved roses, the color red, and to wear fancy hats. She also enjoyed traveling, having visited nearly every U.S. state as well as Canada and Mexico. Helen loved dogs and always had one of her beloved companions by her side, especially during her retirement years. Also in retirement, she enjoyed watching football and basketball with her son and son-in-law.

Family was of great importance to Helen. She always made sure that she lived as close to her children and grandchildren as she could. Though she was never wealthy by the world’s standards, Helen was rich in love. She will be remembered as not only a great and caring educator and friend, but as a mother and grandmother who loved others BIG.

Helen is survived by her brother, Joe Evans II and Bonnie; sister, Carolyn Price; son, Jonathan Borne and Kori; daughter, Johanna Gomes and Mario; seven grandchildren, Rebecca, Courtney, Michael, Emiley, Kelly, James, and Boston; and many other beloved relatives.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Bobby Strickland; her father, James W. Evans; her mother, Louise Sykes Walker; her sister, Helen Iris Evans; her brother, James W. Evans; and her brother, Nathan Harvey.

A memorial service will be held in Helen’s honor on Tuesday, July 6 at 4:00 pm at her daughter’s home, 7306 Ralston Ave., Raytown, MO.


  1. Johanna on June 30, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Love you mama forever and always. I miss you, miss you???

  2. Vanessa Vazquez on June 30, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    To my beautiful sweet teacher Mrs. Strickland, I will cherish the years I spent with you at VGAA forever. The love you had for your students (especially us juniors, your favorites) was felt tremendously. Your wonderful character, sweet hugs and delicious banana pudding will be greatly missed! Whenever I remember high school you will always be the best part?

  3. Simone richards on June 30, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    May her sweet soul sleep in eternal peace…..and to all immediate family members….may you find divine strength in this time of her transition ??
    From Simone and family

  4. Rachel Harlin on June 30, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    This is one of the sweetest women I have ever known. There are not many. She took me in as her adopted daughter and loved me as her own. She texted me at the start of every Sabbath day and told me how much she loved and missed me and my family. I miss her so much already! I know I will see her again when Jesus comes again. I love her so much and her beautiful family as well!

  5. Bonnie Evans on June 30, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    My Sister~n~law, Helen will be greatly missed… The Distance keeps us apart but the Heart keeps us together… Love and Miss her….

  6. Gregory and Carolyn Foster on June 30, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    We are so sorry for the loss our dear friend who we considered to be a part of our family. We are so happy to have been able to come and spend some time with her and the family before her passing. We loved her and she will be sorely missed.

  7. Dan L. Kelly on June 30, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    I will remember he smile and commitment To Christ. “The Battle’s over; the victory’s been won! 10,000 years, and we’ve just begun.”


  8. Danny West on June 30, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    My name is Danny West . MS Evans taught me at Clarke Academy in Pachuta , MS . In 1978 &. 79. She taught me American History as a Junior & them American Government as a Senior . I remember first day of class in American History . Usually the first day of class is an introduction to the course . Not with MS Evans , I remember having to turn my composition book sideways to have two pages to copy a chart on dealing with explorers or a timeline. I used a separate pen for her course . I think I went through 7 or 8 for her course . You learned in her class & I appreciated that as I went on to pursue a career in teaching . One humorous thing I remember at test time was that MS Evans would stand up on her desk to catch any potential cheaters . One time the class that came in after our class some boys came in & started tickling her feet . But , I have fond memories of MS Evans & what she taught me . Today , we need more teachers like her . My heartfelt condolences to her family but look to Jesus He will get you through the tough times .

  9. Andre Gomes on July 1, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Andre and Carla Gomes we are so sorry for your loss our condolences to your entire family may her soul sleep in peace and God give you the comfort to get true one day at a time farewell mama sleep in peace virtual hugs.

  10. Chinyere (Cici) Uyaniker (Ukegbu) on July 1, 2021 at 4:40 am

    I never took a class from Mrs. Strickland at VGAA, but I remember how she had her classroom painted yellow as she wanted her students to be cheerful in her classes. She was always super sweet to me even after she retired. May she rest
    in Jesus’ arms until we merit again.

  11. Rafael Reynoso on July 1, 2021 at 10:58 am

    I will always remember her for her calmness and sweetness. As a mother, grandmother, educator, and sister in Christ, she made a great difference in many peoples’ lives. She definitely will be missed greatly.

  12. Deborah Lile on July 1, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    I truly am a better person for having known Helen. She was an awesome example of a Godly woman. Till we meet again. Rest in peace sweet sister.

  13. Summer Sosa on July 1, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    Sweet Mrs. Strickland,
    I do not even know where to begin. I want to say thank you for always loving me and treating me like your own daughter. Thank you for never getting tired of me being at your house for days on end. I have so many great memories with you. Everything from: trips to the beach, sharing the same birthday, waiting for bald baby gerbils to be born, and then getting lost in the house, birthday parties, explaining the internet to Mr. Bobby when it first became popular, going anywhere and everywhere we could so that we could be first in line to get the next best TY Beanie Baby that was going to make us rich one day, there is so many more things that I will cherish forever. Thank you for being like a mother to me at a time I needed you most and thank you for giving me one of my very best friends in the whole wide world. I love you and greatly miss you.

    love you forever and always,
    Your Birthday Twin

  14. Mike Crowell on July 3, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I am saddened to hear of the passing of Helen. I have such fond memories of Helen and her mother Louise as a young man working in Quitman Mississippi. Helen was a fine example of a Christian woman. She is home now and I know she will be greatly missed. I pray for her family in this time of lose.

  15. Janice Brown Harvey on July 5, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    What an amazing legacy Helen leaves behind. While I wasn’t fortunate enough to have Helen as a teacher, I am honored to have been part of her life. Her love and kindness will alway be cherished by my family.

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