Helen Nichols Hume Thorp


SULLIVAN — Helen Nichols Hume Thorp, 94, passed away on January 28, 2024, in Sullivan, Ill.

Helen was born on April 7, 1929, in Waynesville Township, DeWitt County, Ill., the daughter of the late Wilman Larrison Nichols and the late Minnie Scott Nichols.

Helen was a long-time resident of Central Illinois including LeRoy, Clinton, and Mount Pulaski. Most recently she had been living in Sullivan.

Helen married Harold (“Mick”) Hume, in Clinton, on November 6, 1953. He passed away on March 4, 1994. Years later, on October 8, 2006, she married Ernest N Thorp, of Clinton. He passed away on January 31, 2017.

Helen was the youngest of five children. She was preceded in death by both brothers and their spouses, Ernest (Sadie) Lange and Charles (Phyllis) Nichols, and by both sisters and their spouses, Wilma Nichols (Roger) Sampson, and Louise Lange (Ralph) Hyde.

She also was preceded in death by her parents, her husbands, her siblings and their spouses, and her daughter Nancy Bresnahan Calafut, on April 22, 2023.

She is survived by her son Kevin (Kelli Safarian-Hume) Hume, of Gallatin, Tenn. and daughter Myra Hume, of Normal. She also is survived by her three grandchildren, Timothy Bresnahan, of Hemet, Calif., Maggi Colene Hume, of Olympia, Wash., and SeanPatrick Charles Hume, of Rogers, Ark., and her two great grandchildren, Saturn Bresnahan and Korbyn Else Bresnahan.

Helen graduated as Salutatorian from Wapella High School with the class of 1947. She was then employed for a year at the Union Auto Insurance Company, in Bloomington. After that, she spent five years at Wapella High School as secretary to Superintendent Mr. Scott Funkhouser.

She was town clerk of Wilson Township for two years. She was employed by the LeRoy School District for 15 years. She cared for many elderly people in their homes during the 41 years she lived in LeRoy.

One of her main interests in life was history. She was an avid scrapbooker. And, she was a member of various history-related organizations. She was a charter member of three,  the LeRoy Historical Society, the Rike House Museum, and the Crumbaugh Museum, now known as the Empire Township Historical Museum. She was also a member of the DeWitt County Museum (C. H. Moore Homestead) and the McLean County Historical Society.

One of her history- related accomplishments was assisting with the preservation of Rucker Chapel, a church in rural DeWitt County. The church was founded in approximately 1866 and thus has existed for almost 160 years. Helen was the volunteer secretary for about 50 of those years. The historic chapel is still being used in the 21st century for a few gatherings each year and weddings, including hers in 2006!

In appreciation for her work in preserving Rucker Chapel, The Kiwanis Club of LeRoy presented her with a Distinguished Service Award on February 13, 1984, an award that noted her “exemplary efforts of preserving Rucker Chapel and Rucker Cemetery - a vital, religious aspect of early, rural American life.”

In 1994, the Kiwanis Club of LeRoy further honored her with their “Human and Spiritual Values Award.” The Connie Duncan Award as the 1999 Volunteer of the Year was conferred to her. She was a member of the DAR (Clinton chapter), a member of the Clinton United Methodist Church, and was the Grand Marshall of the 1985 LeRoy Sesquicentennial parade.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesday February 6, 2024, at Calvert-Belangee-Bruce Funeral Home, LeRoy.  The funeral service will be at conducted at 12-noon, also at the funeral home, with Pastor Darrell Howard officiating. The burial will be at Oak Grove Cemetery in LeRoy.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Oak Grove Cemetery Association or to a charity of your choice.

Thanks to her many caregivers the past few years. The patience, love, and compassion of the people at Aspen Creek of Sullivan has been especially appreciated.