ISLAND FALLS – Helen Mitchell Sherman, 101, was called home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, February 5, 2016. She was born June 12, 1914, in Patten, the daughter of Ferdie and Grace (Wilkins) Mitchell. Helen was the second oldest of 11 children. At 101 years, 7 months, 24 days, she outlived her other ten siblings.
Helen was married to Clair Sherman from Oakfield on her birthday, June 12, 1934. Clair predeceased her on August 30, 1991. She is survived by her daughter, Merrilee Sherman Kirby of Glenburn, Maine.
At the age of 2, her family moved to Island Falls, where she resided for 100 years. She attended local schools and graduated from Island Falls High School in 1932. During her high school years she participated in numerous plays and musicals, and also played on the basketball team for 3 years. After being a homemaker for several years she decided to return to school and attended the nursing program in Presque Isle the same year her daughter graduated from Aroostook State Teachers College. Helen began her professional career at Madigan Memorial Hospital in Houlton and continued her nursing at Milliken Memorial Hospital in Island Falls. While employed in Island Falls, she took a two-year course in medical records. Upon completion she became a medical records technician. When the Island Falls Hospital closed, she transferred to Houlton Regional Hospital where she continued her work in the medical records division. She also became a consultant at the hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. After 5 years she retired from her nursing profession. Helen had a strong Christian faith and has been a member of the United Baptist Church in Island Falls for 75 years. She was a member of the choir for many years and also sang in a trio with 2 of her best friends, Esther Pettingill and Mildred Edwards. Beyond singing in church the trio performed at various local events. The group’s biggest claim to fame was singing on the radio at the Houlton WHOU station during its daily devotional time slot. Her other contributions to the church were playing the organ and piano for services for many years. During her retirement years, Helen and Clair enjoyed traveling throughout Maine and the eastern Canadian provinces. Together they enjoyed many Maine County Fairs with a special interest in watching horse pulling events. In recent years she has enjoyed participating in activities with the local Seniors group. In 2014, at her 100th birthday party, she was presented with Island Falls’ Boston Post Cane as the town’s eldest citizen. She also received congratulatory notes from the former President George H. W. Bush (who shares the same birthday), Sen. Susan Collins, former Rep. Mike Michaud and the Maine Legislature.
At Helen’s request, there will be a graveside service announced in the Spring officiated by the Reverend Ben Greene. Those who wish to remember Helen in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the United Baptist Church Building Fund. For online condolences, please visit