Helen Avins, 86

Helen E. Avins, 86, of rural Columbia City, died at 7:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 at Miller’s Merry Manor where she had been a resident since 2010.She was born July 14, 1927 in Whitley County, a daughter of Paul and Bessie (Kalb) Raber. Her formative years were spent in Laud where she assisted her father with the operation of Raber Grocery. She graduated from Jefferson Center High School in 1945.On May 1, 1954, she was united in marriage to James Westley Avins. They made their home in Laud. Mr. Avins died Feb. 19, 1990.She was employed nearly 10 years at Allen Lamont Photography in Fort Wayne.Since 1941, she has been a member of Laud Christian Church, serving as church secretary for many years.Surviving relatives include three nephews, Vernon Neel of Huntington, Jerry Coolman of San Diego, Calif. and Steven Coolman of Chicago, Ill.In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Louise Bestic and Virginia Neel.The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City, with visitation 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. The entombment will be in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Fort Wayne.Preferred memorials are to Laud Christian Church. Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com.