Helen Mable Musillami


Helen Mable Musillami, 89, of Columbus, passed peacefully into the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 13, 2017, at Silver Oaks Health Center.

She was born February 12, 1928, in Start, Louisiana, to Otis and A.C. Thomas.

In Louisiana, Helen helped on her family farm handpicking cotton.

She enjoyed playing basketball during her school years, and swimming with her family in their lake.

During World War II, Helen relocated to Chicago and worked at Risley Soap factory where she met the love of her life, Jasper. Helen and Jasper married shortly thereafter. They moved to Columbus in 1956.

Helen independently purchased and managed the Dairy Girl and later renamed it Musillami’s Drive-In in 1957. She created the well-loved pizza burger, bar-b-que, and ham salad sandwiches.

Over the next 30 years, she gave countless jobs to local young people and created many lifelong friendships.

Once she retired, Helen took classes and became an accomplished cake decorator for weddings and parties. Helen traveled extensively and preferred the beach.

She was an original foodie and loved cooking for herself and others. Asian, Italian, seafood, and Southern food were her favorites. During her later years, Helen enjoyed distributing samples at local grocery stores.

She loved socializing with friends while playing bingo and playing the pull tabs.

She is survived by her siblings, James Thomas and Eva Brown; her children, Pat (Hollis) Wooten and Mike (Ruth) Musillami; grandchildren, Teresa (James) McQueen, James Wooten, Gregory (Lecia) Wooten, Tessa (JP) Mayer and Robert (Carmella) Musillami; great-grandchildren, Anthony (Shannon) Wooten, Brittany Wooten, Chelsey Wooten, Tory Gray, Jeremy (Breanna) Wooten, Caleb Wooten, Sophia and Adrianna Musillami, and Ruth Anne and Jackson Mayer; and great-great grandchildren, Ali, Colt and Able Wooten, Kaydalynn Bozell, Emmitt Wooten, Tristan, Isabella and Danica Wooten, Calissa Gray, and Adeline Wooten.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Jasper Musillami; two infant daughters; sisters, Jo Mae and Bernice; brothers, Thurman and Bo; grand-daughter-in-law, Sheri Wooten; and great-granddaughter, Kayden McClintic.

The viewing will be 1-5 p.m. Sunday, December 17, 2017, at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home with a prayer service following led by Gregory Wooten. There will also be graveside rites at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Chicago on Tuesday, December 19, at 10 a.m.

In honor of grandma’s passion for baking, there will be refreshments in the hospitality room of Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to METAvivor or the local Humane Society.