Mary Helen Calvin

July 26, 1930 ~ December 17, 2021 (age 91)


“ I go to prepare a place before you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:2-3

Mary Helen Henderson-Calvin was born in the early morning of July 26, 1930, in Madison-Ridgeland, MS. Mary Helen attended and graduated from Madison County schools. She furthered her education by attending Southern Christian Institute (SCI). Mary Helen earned her CNA certification from Mississippi Baptist Hospital in 1958. She transferred her “healing hands” to Oregon where she worked as a nurse’s aide at the Multnomah County Hospital, currently known as Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU). Mrs. Calvin, as she was affectionately known, provided her caring services for thirty-three years and retired as a Physical Therapy Technician.  

Mary Helen started her Christian journey at Riley Hill Missionary Baptist Church. She was baptized at an early age, by the late Rev. John C. Carey. Upon moving to Oregon, Mary Helen moved her church membership to Vancouver Ave. First Baptist Church, where she was a devoted member until her passing.  

Mary Helen was a loving mother to nine children. She was a trustworthy, wise, hard worker who had a positive influence as a loving mother. Strength and dignity were her clothing, Mary Helen was the personification of a beautiful black woman. With her love for travelling and her great organizational skills, she was quite often instrumental in successfully navigating family trips across the country. She loved listening music but she especially enjoyed live music. One of the highlights of her life included having the opportunity to meet Muddy Waters and B.B. King. 

Mary Helen gave freely to others in need, from opening her home to friends and family to helping people find jobs. While she will be long remembered, her most preserving memory will be that of her faith and her love of God. She taught her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to pray always. The Holy Bible states, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” Proverbs 31:30. Mary Helen kept her faith strong despite many health challenges, she could often be overheard reciting Psalms 23, her favorite scripture. She called on the Lord at all times, right up to the very end of her earthly existence. Her faith was unwavering, enduring and admired by all who knew her. 

Mary Helen was preceded in death by her mother, Maggie Harris-Miller, Fathers, Eddie Henderson and Charlie Miller Jr., Sister, Eddie Marie Miller-Jones, Brothers, Ollie Porter Sr. and Frank Smith. 

She leaves to cherish her memory, her children Larry Miller (Wanda) of Richmond, CA, Linda Faye Calvin-Johnson (Fred) of Madison MS, Shirley Powell (Hilton) of Spokane, WA, Linda Joyce Miller, Gilda Marie Miller, Otha Calvin Jr. Leslie Calvin Sr. Brenda Kaye Calvin, Margaret LaVerne  Brewer (Steven) all of Portland, OR, her brother Charlie Miller III (Barbara) of Riverside, CA, Sister-in-law Mary Harvey, Portland, OR, Close cousins Geraldine, Clark  of Detroit, MI, Albertha Mathis of Florida, two goddaughters Denise Robinson of Tyrone GA,  Lynn Lewis of Savannah, GA, 10 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and a host of friends and relatives spread across the country. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary, please visit our floral store.


Public Viewing
January 6, 2022

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Terry Family Funeral Home
2337 N. Williams Ave
Portland, OR 97227

Funeral Service
January 7, 2022

11:00 AM
Vancouver Ave First Baptist Church
3138 N Vancouver Ave.
Portland, OR 97227

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