Helen May Weitzel Oxenham
Published: March 22, 2012 The Washington Post

Presbyterian Church volunteer, dies at 93

Helen May Oxehnham, 93, a native Washingtonian who was a
volunteer at her church and with other organizations, died Feb.
15 at Sunrise Senior Living facility in Silver Spring. Her son,
John Oxenham, said she had Alzheimer’s disease.

Helen May Weitzel was born in the District and was a 1936
graduate of
Western High School. She worked as a
secretary before her marriage in 1940 to Robert Oxenham.

Mrs. Oxenham lived in Bethesda for many years and was a
member of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, where she was
president of the women’s group, a Bible study moderator and
bell ringer.

She was a Girl Scout leader, a former board member of the
old Presbyterian Home in Washington and a past president
of the Inner Wheel club, an auxiliary of Rotary International. She
also was a member of the Friends of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond.

She and her husband had a summer home in Ocean City, N.J., and were members of
Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda.

Her husband died in 1986 after 46 years of marriage.

Survivors include three children, Anne Malone of Santa Barbara, Calif., Joan Pyne of
Stuart, Fla., and John Oxenham of Silver Spring; four grandchildren; and eight great-
grandchildren.

— Matt Schudel


Helen May Oxenham (nee Weitzel) passed away on February 15 in Silver Spring,
Maryland, at the age of 93. Born October 30, 1918 in Washington DC, she was the
youngest of six children and a life-long resident of the Washington and Bethesda area.

Helen graduated from
Western High School in 1936, and was employed as a
secretary. In 1940 she married Robert (Bob) Oxenham, a fellow long-time member of
Georgetown Presbyterian Church. Mr. Oxenham was a University of Virginia graduate
and an associate at Schinnerer and Company, an insurance agency. He served as a
Naval Officer in the South Pacific during World War II. They had three children, Anne
Malone, Joan Pyne and John Oxenham. Helen and Bob were very involved in the life of
the Bethesda Presbyterian Church. At her death she was its longest-standing active
member. Helen and Bob owned a summer home in Ocean City, NJ for many years and
enjoyed the beach with their children and grandchildren and many long-time friends. They
also enjoyed boating, and golf and dining at Atlantic City Country Club as well as
Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda.

An avid volunteer, Helen served as President of the Inner Wheel Club of Washington, as a
member of the Women's Board of the Presbyterian Home, as Chairman of the
Presbyterian Women's organization at Bethesda church, and as an enthusiastic and
capable Scout Leader. She and Bob were also involved in community activities while
they lived at Rossmoor Leisure World. Following his death in 1986, Helen continued to
serve on several committees and support the Interfaith Chapel as a Bible Study
Moderator and Bell-Ringer. She took pleasure in gardening and playing the piano and
bridge and steadfastly upheld the family tradition of entertaining and cooking for extended
family and friends, especially at holiday gatherings.

In 2007 she moved to Ingleside at Rock Creek, the former Presbyterian Home, joining her
cousin Louise Winfield and sister-in-law Virginia Weitzel. There she participated in
activities organized or sponsored by the Women's Board, such as the Silver Tea and
Spring Fashion Show. Prior to her death she relocated to Sunrise Senior Living in Silver
Spring. The resident cat sought her out, somehow sensing she had always been a cat-
lover.

Helen May will be remembered for her generous spirit and strong faith, and her loyalty
and sense of responsibility to her family, friends, and community. A service of Witness to
the Resurrection will be held on Saturday, July 28, at 2 pm at Bethesda Presbyterian
Church, 7611 Clarendon Road, Bethesda MD 20814. In lieu of flowers donations may be
made in Helen May's memory to Bethesda Presbyterian Church or to Union Presbyterian
Seminary, Oxenham Faculty Support Fund, 3401 Brook Road, Richmond, VA 23227.
Departed on Feb. 15,
2012 and resided in
Washington D.C., .

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