Helen Mae Kirtlink Whitaker Stewart, 91, of Hannibal, Missouri, died at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, February 7, 2013, at Luther Manor Nursing Center in Hannibal.

Helen Mae Kirtlink Whitaker Stewart, 91, of Hannibal, Missouri, died at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, February 7, 2013, at Luther Manor Nursing Center in Hannibal.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal. Mr. Rodger Lane will officiate. Burial will be at Grand View Burial Park in Hannibal.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at the James O’Donnell Funeral Home.
Mrs. Stewart was born April 2, 1921, in Hannibal, Mo., to George Henry and Martha Anne Spencer Kirtlink.
She was married to Warren Franklin Whitaker on May 6, 1939, in Hannibal, Mo., and they spent 46 wonderful years together until his death on August 19, 1985.
Survivors include son, Bruce Lee Whitaker and wife Edith, of Hammond, IL; daughters, Sandra Kay Piwowarczyk of Palatine, IL, Helen Anice Bunn and husband, John, of New London, MO, and Dena Jean Ellis and husband, Dennis, of Hannibal; stepdaughter, Sandra Sue Keifer and husband, Tom, of Pisgah Forest, NC; stepson, Tom and wife, Luella, Stewart of Hendersonville, NC; stepdaughter-in-law, Mary Stewart of Hannibal; grandchildren, Lorinda Morin, Deidre Whitaker, Lisa Whitaker, Angie Whitaker, Denise Lindholme, Tony Piwowarczyk, John Bunn Jr., Hope Gibbons and Jason Ellis; 15 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; 14 stepgrandchildren; 31 stepgreat-grandchildren; and seven stepgreat-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, including special niece, Darlene Stallard, who all lovingly called her Aunt Mae.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Warren Whitaker and Ralph Stewart; brothers, Thurman Lee and Warren D. Kirtlink; sisters, Thelma Weona Wilson and Velma Naomi Schrumm; grandson, Roy F. McDonald III; granddaughter, Deborah Ann Bunn; and stepson, Charles Eugene Stewart.
The couple spent the majority of their married life on a farm south of Hannibal on Whitaker Lane. Here they enjoyed farming, gardening and raising their four children. Helen and Warren loved to travel and over the years visited many of the national parks throughout the United States. Helen eventually visited all 50 states, took both a Caribbean and an Alaskan cruise and visited Canada and Mexico.
In 1988, Helen married Ralph Stewart, a long-time friend of the family and they also enjoyed traveling together.
Helen was a member of the Ralls County Home Extension club for 30 years and a member of the Hannibal Arts & Crafts Guild for 25 years. She worked at Western Printing for 15 years in the layout department. She was a member of the Oakhill PTA and served one year as the group’s president and later served on the Central School PTA.
Her volunteer services included 11 years at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum and 10 years as a member of the Beth Haven Auxiliary, including one year as president. She particularly enjoyed delivering mail to the nursing home residents every Friday for many years. Through a letter submitted by her daughter, Helen was chosen Hannibal’s mother of the year in May of 1984.
Helen was a loving and devoted daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She attended each of her grandchildren’s high school and college graduations as well as their weddings no matter how far she had to travel. She was deeply loved by her family and friends and will be missed by all that knew her.
Memorial contributions may be made to Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch or to the Mark Twain Museum, in care of the James O’Donnell Funeral Home.
Pallbearers will be John Bunn Jr., Cliff Gibbons, Tony Piwowarczyk, Derek Long, Trey Morgan and Mike Lockey.
Honorary pallbearers will be John Bunn Sr., Dennis Ellis, William Kirtlink, Larry Stewart, David Stewart and Tom Stewart.
Online condolences can be made and the video tribute viewed at www.jamesodonnellfuneralhome.com.