Rev. Helen Handley Fabre

Rev. Helen Handley Fabre
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On May 18, 2020, Rev. Helen Mae Daspit Handley Fabre passed away peacefully. She was 95 years old.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a 1944 graduate of Newcomb College of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Mathematics, she met her husband Lawrence Handley, of East St Louis, IL, during World War II. They married on June 4, 1947 and raised two children in Belleville IL. Helen received her Master of Religious Education, Bachelors and Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. She was ordained on September 19, 1965. She led several congregations in St Louis, MO and First Presbyterian in Kearney, NE as she served God and her community.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Lawrence Handley, Jr, her daughter, Linda (Anastasia) Daspit-Samson; her parents, Richard and Mae, nee Lutchjens, Daspit; and her second husband of 16 years, Frank Fabre.

Surviving are her son, Lawrence M Handley, III, his wife, Joan; son-in-law, Charles Samson; grandchildren Angelle Aldridge (Romi Kher), Lauren Handley (Greg Eckert), Jessica (Richard) Sanders, Jeana Handley, Jarod Handley and Alexander Samson; and great-grandchildren Haley, Brianna, Morgan and Trey Sanders and Matilda and Otto Eckert.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois or First United Presbyterian Church of Belleville, IL. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Funeral:  Due to Covid-19, a memorial service will be planned at a later date.


7 Comments on Rev. Helen Handley Fabre

Deborah Borgelt said : Guest Report Dec 29, 2020 at 1:59 PM

I am so late to offer my condolences but I just saw this. I worked as the secretary at the Presbyterian church in Kearney. She was so wonderful and compassionate to work for. We (my husband, Gary and I) had her officiate at our wedding in 1997 in Central City. She was such a gracious woman---never did i feel disapproval from her. I will miss her here on earth but am sure to see her in heaven. Bless you all.

  • Battle Creek
  • Nebraska
margie schwartz said : Guest Report Jun 16, 2020 at 7:02 PM

I met Helen and Frank when they were my neighbors on Dianne Drive in Belleville. Always very friendly and welcoming! Then, by chance, they moved to St Paul's Retirement community where they became next door apartment neighbors with my Mom, Lia Biehl. So we were able to renew our friendship for a number of years. May Helen and Frank rest in peace. Dear people!

  • belleville
  • Illinois
Charles Samson said : Guest Report May 27, 2020 at 8:32 AM

Dear Larry, Joan, and family. I was very sad to hear about your mother passing away. She was a wonderful person and great mother-in-law. She helped me a lot when Linda/Anastacia passed away. We had some good times when she was living here or visiting. I was sad when she could no longer take phone calls. I hope your mom, dad, and sister are together and enjoying each other’s company. My dad, brothers and sisters all extend their sympathies.

  • Chicopee
  • MA
Harold Nester said : Guest Report May 26, 2020 at 10:00 AM

If my memory serves me correctly, Rev. Handley was an associate Pastor at Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1966 and 1967. My mother became ill in 1966 and died as a result of her illness in June of 1967. During my mothers illness Reverend Handley ministered to me and my mother, as did Rev Keebler. My father died the following November. I went to live with my brother after their deaths. It was not until the summer of 1981 that I learned from my sister that Reverend Handley offered to adopt me after my parents deaths. I will regret the remainder of my life for not personally thanking her for this ultimate kindness. If you could remember to notify me of the date and place of her memorial service, I would like to attend. My heart is with all of you grieving her passing. Harold Nester

  • Springfield
  • MO
Dave Hippard and Family said : Guest Report May 25, 2020 at 8:23 PM

Larry, Joan and Family - we are sorry to hear of your mother's/grandmother's passing. One of the fondest memories is of your mother stopping by the hospital to pray for me and Karon when I broke my ankle shortly after we were married and I lost my job. It meant a lot to me. With warm regards and deepest sympathy!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Jackie Voss said : Guest Report May 24, 2020 at 6:22 PM

I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Helen. She was truly my "second mother" growing up. She was my Pastor and friend. I met my husband, Ken, of 56 years at a Youth Group bonfire at her house in Belleville and she took the pictures at our wedding in . I loved her and miss her!

  • GA
Rev Dr Terry J Keeley said : Guest Report May 21, 2020 at 11:11 PM

Helen was quite the pioneer as female clergy. She was adaptable and resilient in her mature years, with oil painting, learning computer skills, writing her family memoir and tributes, leading Bible study group at St. Paul senior center. A dear soul forever.

  • Littleton
  • CO

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