Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Helen (Barnett) Philippi

Born: 1915

Died: 6/3/2004

Maiden Name: Barnett

Honorific: n/a

Helen (Barnett) Philippi, 88, passed away June 3, 2004, in Honolulu, Hawaii. She was born in 1915 in Stonewall, Oklahoma, the daughter of Ella (Barnett) and John A. Cowling, originally of Cowlington, Oklahoma.

She was raised in McAlester, Oklahoma, married Roy Edward Philippi, also of McAlester, and moved to Hawaii in 1938. On December 7, 1941, while her husband, who was a civilian employee at Pearl Harbor, fought fires and helped to pull wounded sailors from Harbor waters, Helen stood on Kailua Beach, holding her eight-month-daughter and watching U.S. pilots from Kaneohe Naval Air Station follow a Japanese plane flying at the level of the coconut trees in front of their Kailua home.

From an early age she had a very active life as a volunteer. She was a member of Assembly No. 1, Order of the Rainbow for Girls which began in McAlester, and her daughters and granddaughters were also very active in Rainbow in Hawaii and California. She was active in the Daughters of the Nile where she spent many hours working to support the children at the Honolulu Shriners Hospital for Children; and the Order of the Eastern Star. She was a Girl Scout leader and camp counselor; a teacher at Castle High School in Kaneohe, and retired as Vice President of Personnel for Andrade and Co. in Honolulu. Helen’s kind and generous spirit made friends of most everyone she met. She was a strong, positive and loving influence on her family and friends, and will be truly missed.

Helen was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Roy; a brother, Kelly Cowling, and four sisters, Lorita Merrill, Frankie Newcomb, Louellyn Combs and Carolyn Cowling.

Survivors include daughters, Louise Philippi-Derr of Chico, California, and Joan Navales of Aiea, Hawaii, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.