Helen Louise Menkel


Helen Louise Menkel, age 97, of Yorba Linda, Calif.,, formerly of Palos Verdes,Calif., and originally from Scio, Ohio passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Born Oct. 30, 1920 in Scio, she was the youngest daughter of Elmer and Mae Menkel.  Helen graduated from Scio High School in 1938 and then Ohio State in 1944   with a degree in Education.  She was the beloved sister of Mary Menkel (Arter) and Louis Menkel.  Helen was a member of the Presbyterian Church since 1932 and was until her death. At the time of her passing Helen was the oldest living member of the congregation.

She is survived by her nephews Bill Arter and Louis Menkel, her nieces Beth (Arter) Bodkin  and Cindy Brown and many great nieces, and nephews, and even great great great nieces and nephews. Also a second cousin, Linda Lee Laughlin of Scio.

Helen settled in California and had a long career in the Aerospace Industry. She lived by the ocean and also had a cabin in the mountains. She loved to travel, was a skilled tournament bridge player, played tennis, and loved genealogy.  Once retired, she conducted tours at the local courthouse for visiting school children, and traveled extensively.

Later in life Helen sufferered from Alzheimer’s but remained a very happy positive person throughout. She was much loved by all her friends and the care givers at her home because of her intelligence and sense of humor.

A memorial service is being planned in the spring. Koch Funeral has been entrusted with her arrangements.


  1. So sorry to here about Ms. Menkel. It sounds like she had a full life. I believe iam related to her I to was from Scio ohio. My father was Joe McGinnis and his father was Bryan McGinnis. And I believe that Helen would have been Bryans sisters daughter??? Which would have been Bryans neice. I have some pictures and one with a young fellow on a go cart that dad said it was his cousin Billy from California. Don’t know a lot about dads relatives but I know that his dad had twin brothers Willis and Mcquien I believe? Let me know when you are all coming back for the furneral. I would love to meet you all. I live in Louisville ohio. It is just about 45min from Scio. Hope to hear back from you. My ph. No. Is 1-330-875-3307 Joseph Allen McGinnis.

  2. Dear Joseph,

    Helen was the granddaughter of Elliot Albert McGinnis. Helen was the only one of her family who settled in CA – she came west in the early 1960s.

    Helen was my husband’s, (Bill Arter), great aunt. She was really dear and special to us.

    Please email me at billjanart@sbcglobal.net so I can have your email to send you information about her service in the spring. Hope to see you then. Jan Arter

  3. Aunt Helen was a dynamic person. I am one of 2 great nieces, (Daughter of Louise Menkel Jr. and Deborah Menkel). As a family, we always enjoyed hearing of her travels. She was always kind enough to keep us informed of our lineage as well. Bill Arter has been in touch with my parents but just in case, please keep us informed as well. We will attend services. For those unaware, the 3 Aunts of Scio, are a part of the Scio Museum and known for Aunt Pearl making hats. Also, Grandma Menkel, has a stain glass window dedicated to her at the church in Scio. Feel free to contact me directly, (330) 329-5141 Christina Menkel

  4. Christina and Joe – Great to hear from you. I am also one of her great nieces. Her sister, Mary was my grand mother – my dad’s mom.. As you no doubt experienced, Helen was a joy to be around. I loved visiting with her for the last few years of her life, once she moved here to Orange County. We would play bingo and I always encouraged her to talk about her past to keep her mind sharp. Among the most interesting stories was when she and a friend traveled to Cuba before it was closed to American tourists. What an adventurer’s spirit she had. I just hope that I have a little bit of that in my soul!! I hope that I will be able to see each other at her memorial! I also cant wait to visit Scio to see all the places I visited as a child! Maybe even her childhood home. Thank you for your reply to her memorial. You can contact me at cruzthiz@gmail.com or 714.7556.0506. Be well. Julie (Arter) Cruz

  5. A graveside memorial to Helen will take place on Saturday, June 9th at 10:00 am at Grandview Cemetery. Anyone who would like to join us honoring Helen is welcome to attend. We will all gather for lunch in Scio immediately afterwards.
    Please feel free to contact me directly at billjanart@sbcglobal.net or 714-319-4005.


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