News From Terre Haute, Indiana


February 8, 2013

Helen Mae Chezem

BRAZIL — Helen Mae Chezem, 94, of Brazil, passed away on Feb. 6, 2013, at Cloverleaf Nursing Home. Helen Mae was born Feb. 19, 1918, to George and Hazel (Proud) Phillips. She attended Brazil schools, but graduated from Van Buren High School in 1936. After two years at Indiana State, she began teaching in a one-room school in Dick Johnson Township. She later received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Indiana State University. She taught 36 years in Clay County. The last 13 years were spent as a librarian for Clay County Elementary Schools, where she established the county media center. Helen Mae married Maley Samuel Chezem Feb. 10, 1945.

Helen Mae was a founding member of Brazil Bible Fellowship Church. She took great pride in her Christian education and involvement in the church. In Helen Mae’s early years she was a 4-H member, 4-H leader, and Home Ec Club member. She also was on the Brazil Public Library Board. In her free time she was an avid reader, talented seamstress, and enjoyed arranging flowers.

Helen Mae was preceded in death by her husband, Maley Chezem; and two brothers, William Phillips and Lewis Phillips

She is survived by her two daughters, Linda Chezem and husband William Garrard of Mooresville, and Betty Ann (Chezem) Carpenter and husband Craig of Lake Forest, Ill.; and grandchildren, Andrew Wood and wife (Alisha) of Center Point, Sally Wood of Indianapolis, Adam Carpenter and wife Marian of Falls Church, Va.

Service will be Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. at French Funeral Home, 421 E. National Ave., in Brazil, with Pastor Gordon Nelson officiating. Burial will follow at Van Cleve Cemetery. Visitation will be at 12 noon until time of service at the funeral home. Music will be provided by Steve McCullough. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Brazil Public Library, 204 N Walnut St., Brazil, IN 47834, Clay County Historical Society, 100 E National Ave., Brazil, IN, or the church of your choice. Visit to light a candle in her remembrance.

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