Helen Marie Dieckman Pickens

Pickens Enlarge photo


Former Durango resident Helen Marie Dieckman Pickens died Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in Carlsbad, N.M. She was one month shy of her 98th birthday.

Mrs. Pickens was born to John “Jack” and Katherine Carr Dieckman on Aug. 27, 1914, in Durango. She grew up in Durango, attending St. Columba Elementary and Junior High schools before graduating from Durango High School in 1932.

After two years studying nursing at Mercy Hospital in Durango, Mrs. Pickens went to Denver for her third year, graduating in 1935.

On Feb. 14, 1942, she married William Earle Pickens in Durango. They moved to Carlsbad in 1948.

Mrs. Pickens was a registered nurse at St. Francis Hospital before going to work at the New Mexico Public Health Office. She eventually was promoted to department head of the local health office and retired in 1976 after 25 years in public health.

She was a member of St. Edward Catholic Church, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks’ Does, and the New Mexico Nurses and Mercy Hospital Nursing Alumni associations.

Mrs. Pickens was preceded in death by her husband, William Earle Pickens; and granddaughter Katie Leigh Kirkes.

She is survived by her son, William Earle Pickens II of Naples, Fla.; daughters Sheryl Marie Warren and Katherine “Kitten” Kirkes, both of Carlsbad, and Betty Story of Scottsdale, Ariz.; sister Nona Jean Bacon of Richland, Wash.; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 1 to 8 p.m. today, Aug. 5, 2012, at West Funeral Home, 401 N. Guadalupe St., in Carlsbad. A Catholic Daughters of the Americas wake service and rosary will be said at 7 p.m. today, also at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, at St. Edward Catholic Church in Carlsbad. The Rev. Cyprian Uline will be the celebrant. Burial will follow at Carlsbad Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Landsun Caring Hands or Jonah’s House Food Pantry, both through Carlsbad Foundation, 116 S. Canyon St., Carlsbad, NM 88220; or to the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, c/o St. Edward Church, 201 N. Guadalupe St., Carlsbad, NM 88220.

Condolences may be sent at www.westfuneralhomellc.com.