Helen Chambers McPherson, died peacefully August 26, 2018, in her home in Aliso Viejo, California. She was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma December 6, 1917, to Mary Riordan and Robert Chambers. A descendent of one of the founding families of Arizona and one of the old families of the small town of Los Angeles, she had deep roots in the West. Helen attended St. Gregory Grammar School, Immaculate Heart High School, Marymount Junior College and attended U.S.C.
On July 18, 1942, Helen married Edward McPherson in Flagstaff, Arizona. She was a devoted wife to Ed for over 71 years and was at his side when he died in 2013.
Helen and Ed built a home for their five children in Manhattan Beach California where Helen was a loving mother and served as President of American Martyrs’ Mothers’ Club, member of the Badminton Club, The Sandpipers, The Golden Lions of Loyola Marymount University and a life member of Associates of U.S.C. and many other organizations. She was a member of countless charitable auxiliaries and maintained an active membership in as many bridge clubs throughout Southern California. In Flagstaff, Arizona, she was a member of the Historical Society, The Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Symphony Guild, all due to her family’s connection to Northern Arizona.
She is survived by four of her children, Helen Pollock (Oakland, CA), Tim McPherson (Costa Rica), Bob McPherson (Bayside, CA.), and Dan McPherson (San Francisco, CA), nine grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Helen was predeceased by her husband Ed, her oldest daughter Suzanne Warren (Los Angeles, CA), and her two younger sisters, Mary Malmgren (Sedona, AZ) and Rita Gannon (Phoenix, AZ).
Countless homeless in Los Angeles are the beneficiaries of her enthusiastic knitting of hats and sweaters and blankets for newborns at County USC Medical Center. And yes, even penguins in need of warmth, after natural oils had been removed from their fur during treatment post oil-spills, benefitted from her penguin sweaters.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, 409 W. Riordan Road, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, or to Homeboy Ministries, 130 W. Bruno Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
The family plans a private ceremony. Condolences may be sent to www.FlagstaffMortuary.com.