Born on September 28, 1924 in San Antonio, Texas. Helen was born to Reynaldo and Mary Salas. She was one of eight children born to Reynaldo Salas. Helen grew up and remained in San Antonio until a few years after her marriage to Joseph “Tony” Fernandez, when they moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1950. She passed away on May 24, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents Reynaldo and Mary Salas, her husband Joseph Fernandez and her second daughter Gloria Dale Schmeichel. Helen came from a family of seven siblings, most of whom preceded her in death.
Helen is survived by two sisters Marylouise Cantu and Zenobia; two daughters Rosemarie Stewart and Valerie (John) Stahlecker; seven grand children; fifteen great-grand children; as well as nieces and nephews.
Memorial Service was on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 6800 Pine Lake Road in Lincoln. Robert McLellan was the officiating minister. Private graveside at Wyuka Cemetery.
Memorials to the family.
A Little History of Helen
Helen was born in San Antonio, Texas. She was the daughter of Reynaldo and Mary Salas. Helen met her future husband, Joseph Fernandez, at a dance at the UFO in San Antonio, Texas. Joseph “Tony” Fernandez was in the military service at the time. Within one year he proposed and they were married December 10, 1945. Their firstborn daughter, Rosemarie, was born in San Antonio in 1947. By 1950, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Tony was out of work in San Antonio. There was a job opening in Brooklyn. So he moved his family to Brooklyn in 1950, where he could get a job. The next two years, their second and third daughters were born to them – Gloria Dale and Valerie Jane. All three daughters started school in Brooklyn. A few years later, the family moved to Queens, New York. The girls finished high school in Queens.
Rosemarie met and married Van Stewart, from Nebraska. When they married, Van and Rose moved, eventually, to Falls City, Nebraska. Rosemarie’s parents and sisters remained in Queens, New York, until they learned that Rosemarie was expecting her firstborn child. So, after six years of marriage, Van and Rose enjoyed the birth of their firstborn son, Nathan Stewart. Just before Nathan’s birth, Tony and Helen decided to move to Lincoln, Nebraska to be closer to their new, and at the time, only grandson. So the Fernandez family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska in the early 1970’s.
Tony and Helen remained in Nebraska since. Helen enjoyed viewing and contemplating the wonderful creative works of our creator Jehovah God. She, very often, took advantage of opportunities to help her grandchildren grow in appreciation and love for Jehovah God through His creative works. Helen enjoyed taking “nature walks” to view the great variety of plant life that Jehovah had created, doing so with her grandchildren. She always used the opportunity to help her grandchildren develop greater appreciation and love for their creator Jehovah God.
Helen loved her daughters and grandchildren very much. She was generous in her expressions of love for them. The Ministry of Helen Fernandez After they moved to Brooklyn, New York, Helen began a systematic study of God’s Word, the Bible, with Jehovah’s Witnesses. During her Bible Study lessons, her many questions were answered in God’s Word. Helen so much enjoyed and appreciated what she had learned from the Bible that she dedicated her life to Jehovah God and got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1955.
Her husband, Tony, accepted a personal Bible study and dedicated his life to Jehovah God sixteen years later. During the years their daughters were growing up, Helen taught her daughters the things she had and was continuing to learn. As a result all three of their daughters became dedicated servants of Jehovah God as well. Helen’s dedication to Jehovah God and her ministry had become her life. She grew to love her God Jehovah very much.
Helen has always been very eager to teach her children and grandchildren what she learned and understood about Jehovah God and his purpose for the earth and for mankind living on this earth. The hope she enjoyed from Jehovah sustained Helen through the years of her life. Helen maintained a very strong and eager hope in the New World that Jehovah God offers for obedient mankind. (Psalm 37:10, 11) Just a little while longer, and the wicked will be no more; You will look at where they were, And they will not be there. 11 But the meek will possess the earth, And they will find exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. (Psalm 37:29) The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it. She also maintained a very strong hope in the resurrection that Jehovah offered to her. (Acts 24:15) And I have hope toward God, which hope these men also look forward to, that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous. This hope gave Helen the power and strength to endure to her death in 2019. She eagerly looked forward to the day when Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ will call Tony Fernandez and wake him up in the resurrection. These same hopes continue to sustain her daughters and grandchildren. (Isaiah 25:8) 8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces. The reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, For Jehovah himself has spoken it. They all eagerly anticipate the day when Jehovah and his son Jesus Christ call Helen and wake her up in the resurrection. It was the desire of Helen that everyone would accept the opportunity to learn about Jehovah God, his son Jesus Christ and the purpose the Jehovah God has for this earth and for obedient mankind living. (Revelation 21:3, 4) With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” Since that was Helen’s earnest desire, she was very zealous in her ministry.
Helen always endeavored to engage individuals in a discussion of this wonderful hope presented in God’s Holy Word. It has always been her desire that the individuals she talked with would welcome a systematic examination of God’s Word and, thus, benefit for they’re doing so. Helen, therefore, was very zealous in the ministry for her great God Jehovah. She sought out opportunities to talk with her siblings about her great God Jehovah and why she loved Jehovah so much. Helen, likewise, worked diligently to educate her daughters and grandchildren so that they all could enjoy the wonderful hope she, herself, had come to deeply appreciate.