Helen Jo Cashwell, 94 | Port City Daily


OAK ISLAND – Helen Jo Cashwell – Born September 18, 1927 in Happy, Texas, passed away peacefully May 19, 2022 at home with her family by her side. She embarked on her last journey as she had lived her life – with struggle and determination. Hailing from the high plains of western Texas, she began her life path beginning with college and ending with her retirement in Oak Island, North Carolina.

Taking the opportunity to try her hand at computer programming in the 1950s, she became a woman ahead of her time on two fronts: married women did not work outside the home and certainly not in the computers, then relegated to men. . She learned her skills well by having the chance to work with airlines in the growing field of computerized reservations. Starting with Frontier Airlines in Denver, Colorado, she honed her skills giving her the opportunity to move to Kansas City, Missouri to lead IT operations with TWA. Over time, she was offered a better position with Piedmont Airlines in North Carolina where she launched and completed Piedmont’s computerized reservation system.

Before retiring, US Air had acquired Piedmont, which allowed him to continue his career by managing and supervising the computerized reservation system. However, retirement for most people means sitting on the porch passing the time. Not for Helen. She was contacted by IBM to travel to Germany to work on a reservation system which she accepted. Back in the United States and not wanting to be bored, she enrolled in the “Healing the Children” program which took her to many third world countries to bring severely deformed and/or disabled children to the States. United for medical intervention. Yet his desire to contribute to society continued.

Getting to know her neighbors and making new friends on Oak Island inspired her to get involved in the community. This included the need to not only participate in politics, but also to run for Oak Island City Council for more than one term and then run for and be elected mayor. As Malcolm’s health declined, so did his involvement with the government. Before his death, they traveled the world not only by plane, but also on world cruises. As she told her family and friends, it was one of the best things they had ever done.

Always wanting to be in control of all aspects of her life, she did the same with the cancer she battled. Although she chose not to accept treatment because she felt her quality of life outweighed the quantity (she was 94), at no time did she complain or accept sympathy from anyone. it would be. She greeted everyone with a smile and a brilliant inquiry into how the other person was doing, never letting her own plight speak. She will be missed by all.

Helen Cashwell was predeceased by her parents Joe and Ora Cox of Canyon, Texas; her husband Malcolm Cashwell of Oak Island, North Carolina; his grandson Brett Rutherford of Tavares, Florida; and more recently his son-in-law Paul Jepson of Grand Prairie, Texas. She is survived by her daughters Karen Rohrssen of Crossroads, Texas, and Vicki Jepson of Grand Prairie, Texas, and her granddaughter Scarlette Rohrssen of Crossroads, Texas, as well as her in-laws, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m., at the Cape Fear Chapel of Peacock-Newnam and White Funeral and Cremation Service, 1411 North Howe Street, Southport, NC 28461 (910) 457-6944


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