Helen Kathleen Sagstetter

Published 5:28 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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Aug. 31, 1936 – March 24, 2022

Helen Kathleen “Eidt” Sagstetter, affectionately known as Mrs. Helen, Aunt Helen and to her beloved grandchildren as Granny, passed away March 24, 2022, in her home, in the care of Hospice and with her family.

Helen was born on Aug. 31, 1936, in Natchez, Mississippi to Jacob William Eidt and Lela Goyne Eidt. Helen attended St. Mary’s Catholic School from the First Grade to the Twelfth grade, graduating in 1954, in a class of 25, most of which were her cousins. After high school, Helen worked and went to school at Natchez General Hospital, and went on to attend Florida State, and Hotel Dieu and Charity Hospital in New Orleans Louisiana, obtaining her nursing degree.

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Helen moved to Houston when she received a job offer, she could not refuse from M.D. Anderson and the University of Texas. Helen also worked at the original Baptist Memorial Hospital, which was in downtown Houston in the early 1960’s.  Later she moved to the then brand-new Memorial Southwest and eventually transferred over to Memorial Hospital at Memorial City, which is now part of Hermann Memorial. Helen worked in the E.R. and the O.R. She would often pick-up extra shifts and help at other neighboring hospitals like Twelve Oaks. Helen was boarded in Texas, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana, and kept her certifications well into her retirement.  As an O.R. nurse, Helen was continually personally requested to run surgery rooms and set up labs for numerous doctors.  She would receive calls and offers for jobs as far away as Alaska, wanting her to come set up O.R. rooms and labs. She received numerous awards for service and her dedication throughout her career. Over the years Helen worked with many doctors including Denton Cooley, Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. Red Duke.

Helen met the love of her life, Raymond Edward Sagstetter at Catholic singles dance in Houston, Texas.  After a yearlong courtship, they were married in her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi on Oct. 28, 1960. Helen and Raymond’s first home was an apartment in West University in Houston and then later they rented a house in Bellaire, Texas.

In the late 1960’s Helen and Raymond bought their first and only house in McGregor West located in the Spring Branch area of Houston, they were one of the first families to buy a home in their new neighborhood. Helen and Raymond spent the rest of their lives there on Kevin Lane making memories with their children, grandchildren, and wonderful neighbors who became lifelong friends.

Mom loved to entertain with her sweetheart Raymond, hosting friends and family or neighborhood get togethers. Mom was an excellent cook. She enjoyed collecting recipes and cookbooks from all over the world, as well as recreating those recipes for family and friends.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter were always cherished by mom, most especially Christmas.  Mom loved to decorate for Christmas, always picking out her own Christmas tree.  She enjoyed making ornaments, collecting them, and getting them as gifts from neighbors and friends. Lots of baking and cooking were part of all the holidays as well. Helen made wreaths, and all kind of holiday arrangements for which she took orders and sold at craft shows over the years.  She also was an expert seamstress, sewing for her family and friends.  Helen helped many brides over the years making veils and wedding arrangements for the showers, receptions and the church. She was always collecting natural materials such as pinecones, moss and cattails, as well as drying out flowers she could use in flower arrangements and wreaths.

Gardening was second nature to Helen.  She could make anything grown from nothing. She helped Raymond tend his vegetable garden, loved her roses and other flowering plants.  Helen had almost as many gardening books as she did cookbooks and was known for making her family stop along the highway so she could collect a cutting or dig up plants, cattails, pinecones and such.

Helen was also very musically inclined and gifted in that she self-taught herself by ear how to play the guitar, and harmonica.  Helen could play the piano beautifully and loved playing her mother’s every time she went home to Natchez. Helen loved learning about new cultures and went to night school to learn how to speak Arabic, took advanced cooking classes, belly dancing, advanced sewing classes, aerobics and a variety of other classes.

For years Helen and Raymond were members of St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. Helen, with Raymond helped run Religious Education program every Sunday for many years, and helped Raymond chair the annual October Fest Bazaar and dance for a few years.  Helen decorated the church and chapel for Christmas and Easter for many years and was part of the Adoration Chapel group.

Helen absolutely loved all her grandchildren.  When they were younger, she enjoyed reading with them, playing games, going on nature walks, and crafting with them.  As they got older, she loved to attend their school programs, award ceremonies, graduations and so forth.

Helen loved her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi and was a true gentile southern belle, and the epitome of a “Steel Magnolia”. She went back as often as she could to visit her family and friends.  Helen loved walking down to the bluff that hung over the Mississippi only a few blocks from her childhood home and visiting her father’s property.  She reminisced about hanging out with her cousins on St. Catherine’s Creek, the river, St. Mary’s Catholic church and school, and family get togethers.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Helene Kristi “Carter” Sagstetter and her husband, Mark of Rosenberg, Texas; her son, Karl Edward Sagstetter and his wife, Jennifer “Benfer” Sagstetter of Tomball, Texas; four grandchildren, Jessica Erin Sagstetter, Kristopher Stephen Carter, Jacob Allen Sagstetter, and Mitchell Kyle Carter; brother, Jacob William, Jr.; sister-in-law, Amanda Eidt; several nephews, nieces, and many cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jacob and Lela and husband, Raymond Edward Sagstetter.

A visitation and rosary were held at Memorial Oaks Funeral Home Thursday, March 31, 2022, from 5 until 8 p.m., Rosary at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Friday, April 1 at 11 a.m. at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. Burial will take place at Memorial Oaks Funeral Cemetery with a reception to follow at the funeral home.