Helen Coates Blessing, 92, of Newton, NC, and formerly of Bristol, TN, passed away Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Abernethy Laurels in Newton, NC. Born October 14, 1926, in Kingsport, TN, she was the daughter of the late Beatrice (Pickering) and Dan Coates. Her family was her first love and art of various forms were her passion throughout life. She enjoyed painting (oils, watercolor, tole, and stenciling), sewing, quilting, refinishing furniture, flower gardening and arranging, particularly a perennial garden, and was a great example of a home economist. A nature enthusiast, Helen loved plants and birds and had an eye for natural beauty. Helen was a long-time member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Bristol and was given a laity service recognition by them, and she was a lifetime active member of United Methodist Women (UMW). She served the UMW and her church in many ways, including officer roles, president of UMW, children’s Sunday School teacher for many years, and she sang in the church choir for many decades. She was the true definition of a loving mother and grandmother. Her positive attitude and faith in God were an example to all who knew her.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Audley Lee (Al) Blessing, who she married while he was a student at Clemson University. One of her sons was born during those years. She was preceded in death by a sister, Joann Neil; and two brothers, Bobby Coates and Phillip Coates.
She is survived by a sister, Jean Blessing; and a brother, Gary Coates; two sons and one daughter, Andrew and wife Cass Blessing of Blountville, TN, Richard and wife Phyllis Blessing of Abingdon, VA, and Jane and husband Ted Alexander of Conover, NC; six grandchildren, Andrea B. and husband Benny Amos, Esther B. and husband, Dustin Peters, Ian and wife Whitney Alexander, Claire Alexander, Jason Salyer, and Jamie and wife Samantha Salyer; and twelve great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the employees of Abernethy Laurels in Newton, NC and Rev. Susan Roddey, to Rev. David Hamlyn and friends at Friendship UMC in Newton, NC, and to Carolina Caring for their compassionate care given to Helen. Also, Helen and her family were so appreciative of all the cards, calls, and well wishes from friends at Aldersgate UMC in Bristol, TN.
The family will receive friends from 12 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, Kingsport. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. with Pastor David Hamlyn officiating.
Burial will follow at Oak Hill Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Aldersgate UMC, 136 Highridge Street, Bristol, TN 37620, or to Friendship UMC, 2900 NC Hwy. #16 South, Newton, NC 28658.