Helen Agnes “Vira” Minnick Eisler Brode, 97, of Frostburg, Maryland, left peacefully for her eternal home on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in her home surrounded by her adoring family. Helen, affectionately called “Vira” by her family, was born July 19, 1918, to the late Joseph Bernard Minnick and Frances Loretta McKenzie Minnick.Helen was the last surviving member of her family, having been preceded in death by her first husband, Earl Adam Eisler; her second husband, Raymond Alvin Brode; seven brothers; six sisters; one daughter, Pauline “Pommy” Keister and husband Bob; one step-son, William Brode; two grand-daughters; and two great-grandchildren.
Helen was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Frostburg, and attended St. Michael’s School. She was a devout Catholic throughout her entire life, reciting the Rosary every day.
Helen was known for her vivacity and zest for life. She was the prom date of “Grandpa Jones,” of Hee-Haw fame. Dancing was one of her very favorite activities, and she graced many a dance floor with her signature red hair, graceful body and beautiful face. Mel Tillis, having met Helen prior to a performance, remarked during the show on the “beautiful redhead” he met earlier. Country music was her favorite. Both of her husbands were musicians, and she happily attended every event that she could.
Helen always had a servant’s heart, and even in her youth was forever helping those who were needy. She gently cared for many ill friends and relatives. Her home was always inviting and there was plenty of good food for anyone fortunate enough to be there. She was a handy carpenter, and could fix and build most anything. She loved to crochet and sew and could grow anything out of seemingly nothing, making gardens that were always beautiful and plentiful. Helen’s contagious energy was inspiring.
She had been employed at the Michael Berkowitz sewing factory, Gehauf’s Motel, and retired from Frostburg State University housekeeping.
Helen leaves behind her daughters, Loretta “Lettie” Minnick and Bob Minnick; Eileen “Leenie” Ewing and husband Kenny; son, Raymond A. “Butch” Brode, Jr. and Debbie Bittner; two step-sons, Wayne Brode and Jack Brode, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. She will be sadly missed by her loved ones, her many friends and her precious little dog, “She-She.”
The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Gary Wagoner and staff as well as Homecare and Hospice of Western Maryland Health Systems.
According to her wishes, Helen was cremated.
A private memorial service will be held at a later date.