Mary Helen Singleton, 86, of Portsmouth, died on February 9, 2021. Helen was born March 14, 1934, in Portsmouth, to the late Clarence and Opal (Belknap) Singleton. She was the owner of Helen’s Bakery on Market Street. The Bakery was founded in 1907 by a German Immigrant, then sold to Barbour Counts in 1927. In 1984, Helen bought the bakery, after being employed by Mr. Counts since the age of 16. She eventually changed the name to "Helen's Bakery" which she successfully ran until 2019. In that same year she sold the bakery to live her life in retirement. Retirement did not come easy for Helen, and she spent her final days in sometimes sickness and sometimes health. She was a hard worker, industrious, studious, and stubborn. The rules at Helen's bakery were the rules and she steadfastly enforced them. Somewhat of a pioneer, she was featured in the Daily Times as a "Local Woman in Business".
Helen was a dedicated member of the Eastern Star, loved bowling in her earlier years, and loved winning "Slot Money" at the Casino across the river.
Helen was generous to a fault, paying out Bonuses to her employees of the Bakery and fruitfully giving to her family.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Clarence Lee Singleton and wife Ann, Eleanor Stapleton and Donald L. Singleton and nephew, Robert Singleton.
Helen is survived by 7 nieces and nephews and a sister-in-law, Cynthia Singleton of Fort Worth, TX. The family would like to thank Helen's long-time friend, Mark Harris, for his help and guidance throughout the years. We could not have gotten through this difficult time without his assistance. We would also like to thank Mark's wife, Jennifer, for her patience in allowing Mark to do what he did for Helen.
Services will be private and at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements are under the direction of Melcher Hammer Funeral Home in Portsmouth.
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