Helen Margaret Faust Blackledge
1 Nov 1943 - 5 Mar 2006
Margaret Faust Blackledge, the former Marble Lady of Albuquerque, will
miss family and friends and laughter and stories and crossword puzzles
and hummers and doggies and huevos rancheros and verbena and cacti and
sunshine and doo-wop
and loving and smiling and CSI
and Law & Order and
Hershey’s milk chocolate with almonds.
Helen was born 1 Nov 1943 in Silver City, NM to Jerry Willard Faust II
and Helen Elizabeth (Brand) Faust. She died peacefully at her
home in Albuquerque on Sunday, 5 March, 2006. Here Helen's
friends and family share memories of her. We will not forget
her. We love her always.
A Tribute to Helen Faust Blackledge
Helen Faust Blackledge
Sunday, March 19, 2006
The biggest and most shocking news we all received on March 5th 2006 was the very
sudden death of Helen.
She became such an important and dear member of the Blackledge family almost
immediately after she and Mike were married, over thirty years ago. She was
gorgeous, smart and funny and we all fell for her.
My first remembrance of her was what she decided to call her new father-in-law.
My Dad was dear and fun too but after all he was the patriarch of a good-sized familly
and had a very distinguished career in the Navy retiring as a Captain. So of course,
he was used to taking charge and being obeyed - you know: when I say jump (you
say): How high, Sir! Still there was the twinkle in his eye. Helen decided after some
thought she’d have her own name for him -- POPS ! I think we all gasped at first.
Pops loved it and she was in.
When Mike returned from Viet Nam he was stationed in Washington D.C where
the Tiptons (that’s me) lived. We asked them to stay with us while they looked for
a place to live. Doug was the third member of the family and about two or three years
old at the time. One night, our dinner ready and on the table, we all sat down, all
except Doug, who was totally immersed in the television show Sesame Street. He was
called several times but did not respond. Helen insisted he come - but just as soon as
that thought came to her another one came also. This TV Show was a learning
experience for Doug and here his Mom was dragging him away. She immediately
leaped up to go to him trying to keep his attention on the program. However she had
lost the moment. Politeness and dinner were served but Helen felt awful about that
In due time they found a house not too far from us. Helen was so appreciative of
staying with us at this time that we decided as a “paying back” they would help someone
else who needed a place to stay as they looked for their own house. And that”s
what they did. Friends came to town with a little girl and moved in with Helen and
Mike while they looked.
During their stay the man had a birthday. Wicked Helen baked a birthday cake for him - one to end all birthday cakes. On this good-sized sheet cake pan she created, in frosting, the birthday man. This frosted image was nude - muscular and complete with all the proper male parts. Simply fantastic!
She was the first person I knew who had artificial nails. They were long and colorful and gorgeous. She also tried add-on eye lashes but this didn't last too long.
We’re all going to miss her. We used to exchange information about the recent books we were reading. It was always fun and interesting being with Helen. I know she will have a wonderful time in heaven, and she’ll be Ioved by all.
In Loving Memory
The Balloonist's PrayerMay the winds welcome Helen with softness.
Presented by Elza (Skeeter) Paul at Helen's Open House, Albuquerque, 19 March 2006
| Dear Mike,
Pat and I are so sorry to hear of Helen's passing. We send our deepest sympathy to you
and your family. During difficult times it helps to know that others care. We just want
you to know we care and we’re thinking of you.
I remember the first time I meet Helen at the old Manor. There was something about her
great smile that drew you to her. That day I bought my first marbles from her. I didn’t
know a good marble from a good bead. I bought twenty Chinese game marbles for 10
cents each. I was such a big spender. I bought them because of her great passion for
collecting and her wonderful personality. From that day forward I continued to buy more
and more and more until I owned them all. What fun it was to visit with her and talk
marbles. What a strange feeling not to have a local place to barter and buy marbles. She
will always be “THE MARBLE LADY” to me.
Helen not only gave me knowledge of marbles but also jewelry and other antiques and
collectables. What a sharing generous lady she was. I wish I had kept contact with her
more after we closed the Manor. I’ll use my transplant for an excuse, but the reality of it
is I didn’t take the time. How sad. Like you I will remember the puzzles, the smile and
most of all the infectious laugh. I loved it most when I could get her laughing so much
that she would snort. She would be a little embarrassed and we’d all chuckle. What a
We want you to know that we loved Helen and she will be with us forever. If there is
anything we can do for you or your family let us know. With your permission we would
like to bring on the 19th a bowl of Helen’s “Marble lady of Albuquerque” marbles that she
had manufactured so everyone can take a little bit of Helen home with them.
With Sympathy and Love
Pat and Gerry Colman
PS I do hug my wife more now. 3-12-2006
Uncle Mike ~
I've probably drafted some form of this letter in my head 90 times - perhaps more. I have wanted to say a couple of things to you re: Aunt Helen's passing, but did not want to be insensitive or dredge afresh feelings of sorrow, etc. I'm happy you have found companionship in Bonnie...I trust she is worthy of The Blackledge Wit, Charm and, of course, NOSE!!
It's been almost 2 years since Aunt Helen's passing, and I still feel the need to let you know a few heart ponderings that I have held hidden until now. I will attempt to be brief (a minor miracle!), but please allow me to share my heart for a moment- as even now tears still find their way to my eyes.
When I first heard of Aunt Helen's passing, I was in shock...disbelief...stunned silence. I am not certain as to the rationale behind my profound pathos, but it, for whatever reason, did more than to just "take the wind out of my sails". I didn't get to "say Good-bye". I didn't get to thank for her years of kindness to this child that were absolute acceptance and joy in essence and formative in nature. I knew that if I, a "mere" nephew, was feeling such loss, were those directly within the family unit. I realized anew the tie of Family. I mourned. Restlessly. I hurt for you and the boys, their wives and children- even though separated by 1000's of miles, years, likes and dislikes, I felt great loss. I would never see her again. Things had changed and there was nothing I could do about it. Or so I thought. As time passses, things tend to take on a different, perhaps fuller, light. The realization began to dawn upon me that Aunt Helen was, in a sense, I could see her...sense her intelligence...and acceptance...even her foibles- in my memories. I, true to the Blackledge side of me, had for years told some of my favorite anecdotes regarding her to people that never met her- people she would never know. I told of her boutique business/junque happiness (that's where I got mine from? Transgenetics? Osmotic mimicry? Ah well, I digress), and the marble she gave me (now if I could only find the rest of them :) I told about the time she mistakenly fed me poison, thinking it was medicine, then in horror read the label, immediately gave me epicac, saying, "Good, honey, now throw up...good job!" (Even now I don't think Mom believes me). I told of how she allowed Douglas and I to go "exploring" in the hinterhills behind your house, rock climbing, skiing, etc., etc. Even now, I think of how she praised me and made me feel valued- even as a young child, I was deeply impressed by this. It, to no small degree, had a hand in making me who I am today. In retrospect, I see the value of Family Stories ("Heeerrreee Moooookkk!!"), and how they serve to both familiarize and galvanize fidelity, love, appreciation and acceptance of one another. I have passed some of these stories to my children, and so Aunt Helen lives on...in them. As do you. And Fat Nose. And Big Woody. And the Twins. EVERYONE. The sum greater than the whole. And therein lies the beauty. For well over a year, I have thought my letter was way too late...and, as day slipped into day and week turned into month, my shame of inactivity- of not reaching out to console you and the boys (et al) in a more timely fashion only served to cause my sense of shame to mount...but, right now, it feels (at least to me) right on time. I sense Aunt Helen's "wink". May the Spores/Spirochetes/Saplings as well as Siblings continue to relive our Blackledgery with the grace and understanding that bespeak of true love (warts and all!) in celebration of the inherent nobility that came from ADB's loins...and Missy's. May our love for one another sustain our Family - even in hard times and differences. I love you, Uncle Mike. I ask, in humility, that this letter be forwarded to the Siblings.Alexander
|Dear Mr. B, I am so glad you
created this tribute for Mom. She will
never be forgotten in my mind. What an incredible friend she was to
me. I remember when I did things like drinking beer and vodka in
middle school from behind the bar in your house. Helen busted Doug and
I - wasted in your house. She got mad at us, scolded us but never told
my mother. Whew that was a relief. She always treated me as if I was
one of hers. What a kind heart and a beautiful person. She will always be loved!
I am happy that you are moving forward and have met someone new. Do
lots of whatever makes you most happy. I hope for all my friends and
family that we choose to do things that make us smile. As we have
learned "life is just too short" ! Especially when the important things
in our lives are taken from us unexpectedly.
your friend Paul Martinez
|Hi, Mike...I hope that you remember us...we rented
booths from Helen some time ago. Gerry told us about her death,
and we are so sorry. She was so much fun, and really kept us
laughing! I remember being in a really foul mood one day, and I
stopped at the Manor when it was on Eubank/Indian School...it was not
my day to work, but I needed cheering up! Helen had me laughing
in about 5 minutes, by telling me stories of things and people that she
had met and endured in her life! What a woman! I know that
you miss her, and I hope that you will be eased by knowing how much she
meant to so many people...what a sweetheart! When I think of her,
I think of her beautiful smile, and caring laugh...she was great!
Take care of yourself...we think of you often. ...give your sons our condolences, too...they were life
Love, Alta and Rob Turner
Dearest Mike ~
My mom passed on the news about your wonderful wife, Helen. Don and I send our love and prayers to you and your family. If we can do anything to help please do not hesitate to call.
I can honestly say that I can not recall a time when Helen was not laughing or making someone else laugh. I can still see her warm smile and hear her infectious laugh. I am thankful to have seen and introduced my husband and son to you both in Laughlin, NV, last year.
~ Don, Erika and Hunter Yu
i thank you God for most this amazing
Presented by Annabeth Balance at Helen's Funeral Ceremony, Santa Fe, 16 March 2006
Dearest Michael ... So very dearest Helen ...
My heart lies heavy at news of Helen's illness. I, who am rarely at a loss for words, find myself struck dumb by the inexorable nearing of Helen's passing.
Helen, my dear sweet sisterfriend ... you have brought so much love and caring into my life ... From the moment we met, you drew me gently into your circle of family and fun and laughter and stories and puzzles and hummers and doggies and cactus and sunshine and laughter and hurting and loving and laughter and smiling and family and ... ... ... you loved the sister I called my own true love and life partner ... and loved me for loving her. And I felt loved and accepted and included in another family that soon became my own ... You laugh at my stories and worry quietly about our money spending ways ... You cook for us, serve us, clean up after us, make a warm place for us in your home ... You welcome us into your hearth and your home and into the gentle sweet love of your own self ... and we feel nurtured and cared for and encircled and safe ... And we love you in return .. You and your own sweet lover Michael who circles you with caring and tenderness and loving and goofy jokes and his own wonderful brand of mind and intellect and valor and living-through-it-all and how-will-I-get-along-without-her and caring and tenderness and loving and ...
I love you both so very much. And I feel so very blessed that you are in my life. Gracias beyond telling ... Amazing Gracias, my so very amazing friend ... Know that my love and my thoughts and my prayers are with you through it all ... ... Elaine. 3-04-2006
Dear David, Doug and Mike,
Pete called me last night to tell me of Helen's sudden death. I am so sorry that you have lost such a wonderful woman in your lives.
I'm just so very glad that I was once again able to see Helen again just a few years ago when I was able to take a business trip to Albuquerque and spend a couple of days with Helen and Mike -- and get re-acquainted with David and meet his family. But I am so saddened that I will never be able to hear Helen's wonderful laugh again.
I know that her strong spirit will live with you three of you for all of your lives --- and I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to know Helen.
Love -- and peace to all three of you.
From: “Jorene Carpenter” ~jcarpenter@l starnet.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006
To: <Tricia ~ Blackledge. corn>
Hi Tricia. I am “shirt-tail kin” from Grant County. I knew Helen as we were growing up in Hanover when she visited her dad and step mom, Eva. Eva and my dad were cousins. Helen’s half sister, Judy Bayne, and I were cousins and THE BEST OF friends. I have never gotten over Judy's untimely death while we were teenagers. Eva and I remained very close throughout her life and I would always visit her when I was home.
How very much Eva loved Helen. Eva did everything possible to make Helen and Jerry feel a part of their extended family. The ranch at Alma was great fun for all of us! It was sad for all of us when Big Jerry had the horse accident at the ranch.
Helen was always full of spunk and such mischief. I wish I could have been reacquainted with her during our golden years. My goodness she had some great accomplishments! Your family has every right to be so proud of her.
My love, prayers and blessings to all of your family.
Jorene Turner Carpenter
295 2nd St. NW Detroit, TX 75436
|Helen is remembered here in photographs -
Helen's Obituary: MS Word
Helen loved this
beautiful state of New Mexico. She
was proud to be a native. Born here, married here, spent most of
her life here, died here and
interred here. The family held a funeral service for Helen at 11 am
Thursday 16 March 2006 at Santa Fe National
Cemetery and placed her urn in Wall 1,
niche C80. The photo above is of the plaque for Helen's niche;
the panorama below, created by son David, represents "Helen's view"
that niche - from her grandson Ian racing toward her on the left, to
her husband Mike and sister Annabeth to her right.
map (search for National Cemetery near Santa Fe)
wanted us to get together for a fun party in her memory. Helen's
friends and family
Helen's unique spirit and lasting memory on Sunday afternoon 19 March
Blackledge and Tricia
|Contributions in Helen's name were
donated in accordance with her wishes to
6209 Hendrix NE, Albuquerque NM 87110 phone: (505) 881-3363
|Helen loved all of her dogs
... Missy, Blackie, Quattra, and Seamus ... here is her
tribute to Blackie.
Posted: Mother's Day 2006. Updated: Memorial Day 2006. Most recently extended: 22 April 2008.