Dorothy Wynne Hellstern, retired school teacher and Christian educator, was born Sept. 15, 1927 in Ashville, NC. Her father Thurman Wynne, was caretaker of kennels on the Cornelius Vanderbilt estate, where Dorothy was born. Her family later moved to Mississippi, then to Memphis, TN. She and her siblings all graduated from Treadwell High School in Memphis.
On Christmas day in 1944, when her brothers T. W. Jr. and Arthur, as well as her brother-in-law Thomas Menietto were all serving in the south Pacific theater of WWII, Dorothy met naval air crewman trainee Gene Hellstern, who was invited to share Christmas dinner at the Wynne home. The relationship of Dorothy and Gene culminated in their marriage on Dec. 25, 1946, exactly two years after their first meeting.
Dorothy and Gene subsequently graduated from Phillips University in May, 1950 and began years of service as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Christian Church. They served numerous churches in KY, TN, OK, and KS, before beginning teaching careers. Dorothy taught a number of years in public schools before starting as one of the first teachers of the newly formed Oklahoma Christian Schools. She taught 16 years at OCS until her retirement. Dorothy and Gene continued to serve churches on weekends after beginning their teaching careers.
During her years as a Christian school teacher, Dorothy developed a printed teacher’s guide “Steps to Bible Skills”, which was taught in a number of elementary and middle schools. She spent her remaining years writing other Christian educational materials.
Dorothy and Gene have lived in their home in Edmond for 47 years. Dorothy is survived by her husband Gene, son Paul, daughter-in-law Amalia, and numerous grandchildren. She is proceeded in death by her son Mark Hellstern.
The funeral service for family and friends will be at 2:00 PM on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 at the Matthews Funeral Home at 601 S. Kelly Ave. in Edmond, OK.
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