Cover photo for Helen McMullen Ledgerwood's Obituary
Helen McMullen Ledgerwood Profile Photo
1929 Helen 2024

Helen McMullen Ledgerwood

February 26, 1929 — February 24, 2024


Helen McMullen Ledgerwood peacefully and happily went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 24, 2024, just two days shy of her 95th birthday, at Justin T. Rogers Hospice Care Center in Fairlawn, Ohio. Born Feb. 26, 1929, in Jackson, Michigan, she was a proud Christian-education graduate of Wheaton College – Nifty Class of ’50! – whose plan was to become a missionary to South America.

Known for her sense of humor, she would joke that the farthest south she got was Virginia, where she had landed a Weekday Religious Education (WRE) job right after college. She never made it to South America, instead meeting and marrying one of four young, single ministers in the area whose congregations had their collective eye on the young, single Bible teacher. 

Despite having confessed her faith at Ganson Street Baptist Church in Michigan at age 13, Helen chose the young Methodist, Conley Astor McMullen, and remained in Virginia another 57 years. But she fulfilled the role of true missionary for her own children and her students, whether in WRE or in various public schools, and as a pastor’s wife, Sunday School teacher, member of the choir and beyond. Conley referred to her as a prayer warrior; upon her death, many notebooks and journals were found with long lists of people and nations for whom she had fervently prayed over the years.

She also became a pioneer woman of sorts, first on the banks of Back Creek in Bath County, Virginia, via tent camping, and later at the family cabin near Woodstock, Virginia. 

lifelong proponent of education, Helen often received eye rolls from her three children in response to her reminders of the Latin roots of words -- which, by the way, did come in handy later in their lives. Midway through her own career, she began teaching remedial reading and returned to school herselfearning a master’s degree in elementary education in 1980 at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

In 2007, she moved back North to Uniontown, Ohio, near son Matt and his family, and immediately got involved with the Mennonite church community. She got a special kick out of Vacation Bible School’s Crazy Hair Night, where she would appear – to the kids’ delight -- with her now mostly white hair dyed pink, red, green or blue. 

A year after moving to Ohio, Conley died at age 91, but Helen stayed busy with church, family and friends and the YMCA. That’s where she found better health with water exercise for arthritics and balance class. It’s also where she eventually met her second husband, Olin Ledgerwood. During their 22 months together, they enjoyed Olin’s chili, going on picnics, raising tomatoes on the back deck and Sunday afternoons with members of Olin’s large family

Helen was a huge fan of “Jeopardy!” and a voracious reader. Following retirement and with the advent of computers, she loved listening to her favorite preachers online and even learned to email. She loved flowers, especially lily of the valley, and she loved cats, including a number of childhood felines, all answering to the name of Fluffy, and her own Ohio contingent, Patter and his late brother Pitter. Because of having moved approximately every four years as a Methodist minister’s wife, she had faithful friends all over Virginia whom she continued to visit well into her 90s. She made more friends in Ohio and enjoyed working and especially shopping at the Hartville Thrift Shoppe.

Helen will be sorely missed, but her family looks forward to meeting her again on that beautiful shore. One July morning in 2002, she wrote in her journal: “I’m about to feast on God’s word and pray. I’m reminded of the chorus we sang, and I still sing. ‘God is so good, He’s so good to me.’ “

She is survived by daughter Cynthia McMullen of Richmond, Virginia; son Dr. Conley Kirby McMullen of Keezletown, Virginia; and son Dr. Matthew McMullen (Karla) of Uniontown, Ohio. Also, granddaughters Ellen Coley (Ryan) of Massillon, Ohio, and Anna McMullen of Eugene, Oregon; and grandson Charles McMullen (Claire) of Clyde, Ohio; nieces and nephews in Michigan, Virginia, Florida, Arkansas, Washington, West Virginia, and Texasand her husband, Olin Ledgerwood, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ed, a machinist for Michigan Central Railroad, and Effie Kirby; her sister Harriette and brother-in-law Dan Brown; numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law; and her husband, the Rev. Conley A. McMullen.

Visitation will be held 4-6 p.m. March 1 at Bethany Mennonite Church in HartvilleOhio. A funeral service, conducted by Bethany Pastors Matt Zook and Marcus Sharp, will follow at 6 p.m. A graveside service will take place at 3 p.m. March 2 at Saumsville Christian Church cemetery in Maurertown, VirginiaPastor Colin Campbell of Sovereign Grace Community Church in Roanoke, Virginia, will officiate.

Memorials in Helen’s name may be made to Bethany Mennonite Church3497 Edison St., N.E., Hartville, Ohio 44632, or to Wheaton College Advancement, 501 College Ave., Wheaton, Illinois 60187.


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 1, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 1, 2024

Starts at 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Saumsville Christian Church Cemetery

2035 Saumsville Rd., Maurertown, VA 22644

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