Ary Helton

Ary Jean Helton (Little)

Thursday, February 23rd, 1928 - Saturday, December 5th, 2020
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Ary Jean Helton passed from this life on December 5, 2020, at the age of 92.

She was born on February 23, 1928, in Amite County, Mississippi, to James and Eddis “Mimi” Little.

In 1961, she moved from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Cookeville, where she and her husband, Ralph J. Helton, owned and operated the Ben Franklin dime store on West Broad Street. She was a member of the First Baptist Church.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband and parents.

She leaves behind her cherished children, James Ralph Helton and Michael Lee West; three grandchildren (James “Trey” Arnett III; Brittany Nash; and Tyler West); three great-grandchildren (Annabel Arnett; Draper Nash; and Jackson Nash).

Known at “Nanny” to her family and friends, Jean was a gourmet cook who left behind well-loved recipes for her family. She loved the seashore, garage sales, and the color purple.

Services will be private.

To sign the online guestbook and to send the family a message please visit,

Arrangements entrusted to Crest Lawn Funeral Home - Cremation Center.
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Pamela Dunn

Posted at 05:08pm
You are never prepared to lose a mother. My thoughts and prayers for your family.

Tamara Hogan

Posted at 01:20am
So sorry for your loss, I really liked Mrs. Ary. She will be missed.

Beverly Lewis

Posted at 04:45pm
Dear Michael Lee, Please accept our condolences on the loss of you mother. I know you admired and loved her very much. I wish you peace and solace. All my love, Beverly Lewis and family

Lisa Neal Fox

Posted at 03:09pm
I am so sorry to hear of Nanny Jeans passing. She was more than a neighbor, she was more like family. Mama and Daddy loved her so and she was so good to come over and check on them and brighten their days...She was such a beautiful soul and I will always hold a special place in my heart for her. May God comfort you all with love, comfort and peace in the days to come. Lisa Neal Fox

Marcia Diemer Mullins Mullins Posted at 02:28pm

Mrs. Helton was so full of life and such a great neighbor! Fond memories of all our neighborhood gang and friends. We loved going to the Ben Franklin store on Saturdays. Our sympathy to Michael Lee and to Jim. Marcia Diemer Mullins ( and the Diemer Family )

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