Helen Eloise Cline Borders, 91, of Shelby, died peacefully at Testa Family Hospice House of Cleveland County on July 8, 2017 following a brief illness. Born on July 8, 1926 in Cleveland County, Helen was the daughter of the late V. Otha Cline and Katherine "Kate" Tucker Cline. She grew up on the family home place that is now on Moss Lake spending idyllic days riding her favorite pony "Toy" and pretending to be terrorized by her four beloved brothers.
Helen attended Waco School from elementary through high school graduating in 1943. She graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1947 with a degree in Home Economics and then returned home where she accepted employment as a Home Extension agent for Rutherford County. Helen enjoyed working mainly with 4H clubs and hosting a weekly radio program giving advice to homemakers.
In 1948 Helen married the great love of her life, Robert Borders. She taught that year in Granville County before returning to Cleveland County where she began a teaching career that spanned the next 34 years and forever changed the lives of many young women and men in the Burns school district. Helen taught Home Economics at Polkville School, followed by several years at Waco and Belwood. She completed her teaching career in 1984, retiring from Burns High School as the "best Home Ec teacher ever" according to countless former students.
Helen was a former member of Delta Kappa Gamma and Kappa Kappa Iota teaching sororities in addition to membership in the Cleveland County Retired School Personnel. She especially loved getting together with her former co-workers, the "Burns Burnouts." As members of the committee to write the history of the county schools, she and Robert spent countless hours gathering and writing the history of the Township Five schools. Her involvement in other community activities included serving on the Nursing Homes Advisory Board and volunteering for Hospice. Helen served many years in various capacities for the Cleveland County Fair. She created the annual "Miss Cleveland County Fair" pageant serving as its emcee for eighteen years.
A lifelong member of Elizabeth Baptist Church, Helen served the Lord as a teacher of children and adult classes and later became a devoted member of the Love-Joy class. She enjoyed many years of helping with Vacation Bible School, participating in the Keenager Senior group and choir, and serving in the prayer room. Helen always loved people and she easily made friends, thus cultivating many lifelong relationships. She was a member of several longstanding bridge, Rook, and Skip-Bo groups and loved hosting them in her home. In fact, one Rook club met in her home for more than 50 years on New Year's Eve for an evening of cards, food, and fellowship.
In addition to her parents, Helen's devoted husband Robert and grandson Jacob Paschall, preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death were her brothers Buford Cline and wife Wilda, Joe Cline, and Ben Cline and wife Frankie.
Helen is survived by her three children, sons Robert "Bob" Borders, Jr. and wife Beverly, Steve Borders and wife, Cindy of Shelby and daughter Nancy Borders Paschall and husband, Tim, of Gastonia. Also surviving are her absolutely adored grandchildren, Will Borders and wife, Adrienne of Gastonia, Dr. Ben Borders and wife, Dr. Melissa Borders, of Connelly Springs, Brandy B. Curtis and husband, Jim of Shelby, and Laura and Anna Paschall of Gastonia. Great-grandchildren Willow and Harper Borders, Luke and Reid Borders and Caroline, Wyatt, and Ty Curtis survive her as exceptional blessings. Additional survivors include her brother, Dr. V.O. Cline and wife Jane of Rutherfordton, sister-in-law Betty Cline of Raleigh, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of the life of Helen Cline Borders will be held on Tuesday, July 11 at 11:00 with Dr. Rit Varriale officiating. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 9:30-11:00 in the Elizabeth Baptist Church sanctuary. A graveside service will follow. Her family will also be at the home place on Monday, July 10 from 4-7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Elizabeth Baptist Church, Attn: Forward Campaign, 301 N. Post Road, Shelby, NC 28150.
The family would like to thank the compassionate and caring staff of Testa Family Hospice in Kings Mountain for providing our mother with kindhearted dignity during her last days. We would also like to thank special caregivers Glenda Ward, Nancy Hall, Crystal Wilkie, Ruth Bagwell, and Elaine Robertson of Helping Hands in Shelby for the care and compassion they provided. In particular, we want to express our deepest appreciation to Mr. Charles Beam, her friend of 91 years, whose daily calls encouraged mom and always lifted her spirits. And finally, we are eternally grateful to Vickie Wyatt, mom's Sunday school teacher, for encouraging her to write down her life story and she did. In her 2010 autobiography, "Down Memory Lane" Helen penned this fitting closure:
"Philippians 4: 4-13 has always been a favorite Bible passage of mine, especially verse 13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It addresses my feelings of blessing and gratitude, contentment and peace. We have indeed been blessed in every aspect of our lives and I am so thankful. As for what the future holds for me, I have no idea, but I DO KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE. "
On line condolences may be made at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com.
Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Mrs. Borders.