Helen L. Spechko-Craig


June 9, 1920 ~ April 1, 2010

Longtime College Place resident, Helen Louise Spechko-Craig, 89, died April 1, 2010, at her home.

Family and friends may pay their respects from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday at Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, Washington. Burial will be private in the Moscow (Idaho) Cemetery on Friday, April 9, 2010. A memorial service will be 3:00 p.m., Saturday, April 10, 2010, at the Village Seventh-day Adventist Church, 12th and Larch Streets, College Place. Her son-in-law, Pastor Henry Lamberton and Pastor Steve Walikonis will officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Walla Walla University School of Nursing through the funeral home.

One of ten children, Helen was born June 9, 1920, in Dever, Wyoming, to Jake and Bertha Nordsven Qualls. She graduated from Laurelwood Adventist Academy in Gaston, Oregon and the Walla Walla College School of Nursing in 1943. On August 12, 1945, she and Philip David Spechko were married in Walla Walla. Following his graduation from Loma Linda University, they lived in Spokane, Washington while he was interning at Deaconess Medical Center. They moved to Genesee, Idaho, where her husband was in general practice. She worked in her husband's office and Gritman Memorial Hospital while raising her family there. He passed away November 25, 1967. On June 7, 1981, she and Donald O. Craig were married in College Place. Mr. Craig passed away January 17, 2003.

Helen worked as a nurse at Walla Walla General Hospital and the Walla Walla University Student Health Center and other outpatient clinic settings, a career so important to her that she encouraged her three daughters and a granddaughter to also pursue careers in nursing. Following retirement, she learned how to do word processing so that she could provide phone advice for the hospital "Ask-A-Nurse"program and volunteered at the Village Church where she was a member.

Helen was always a gracious hostess and welcomed her children's friends and playmates with yummy lunches and treats. She kept a casserole in the freezer, ready to deliver to a family in need.

She loved to sew and made many quilts and other handmade gifts for her family. She also participated in sewing projects for mission programs, as well as supporting many mission programs with cash and in-kind donations.

Helen is survived by three daughters: Phyllis Louise Spechko of College Place, Elaine Spechko Lamberton of Loma Linda, California and Jeanie Spechko Butler of Happy Valley, Oregon; a son, Thomas Philip Spechko also of Loma Linda; three sisters: Blanche Dull of Battle Ground, Washington, Bonnie Dolinsky of Spring Valley, Arkansas, and Julia James of Fort Bragg, California; a brother, Ben Qualls of Nampa, Idaho; four grandchildren: Jill Lamberton of Crawfordsville, Indiana, Tammy Lamberton Hilliard of Redlands, California; Stacy Butler of Loma Linda and Emilie Butler of Happy Valley; three great-grandchildren: Sophia Faith and Max Alan Hilliard and Henry Spechko Hartnett, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death a sister in infancy; a brother, Marvin, when he was 18 years old, two sisters: Thelma Hathaway and Grace Spillman and one brother, Frank Qualls.

Friends may write memories and sign the online guestbook at www.mountainview-colonialdewitt.com.


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