On July 11, 2019, heaven welcomed a new angel named Helen Middlebrooks Sharp. Helen battled pancreatic cancer for several months, just long enough to celebrate her 77th birthday with her family. She passed away peacefully at home in Virginia.
Born July 4, 1942, in Manchester, GA, to Charles and Lillie Mae Middlebrooks, Helen spent most of her life in northeastern Ohio. She was a graduate of Lorain High (class of 1958) and a young employee of United States Steel Corporation where she worked for more than 30 years. Though she left USS, she never really retired. Helen worked for temporary agencies before taking on part-time work for more than 10 years at Young’s Pecans’ gift shop in Florence, SC, and, most recently, at Hallmark Cards in South Riding, VA. Her semi-retirement allowed her to do the things she loved, including travel (Canada, Italy, Paris, Germany, the Caribbean by air, train or ship), golf, and giving time to her community and church. Helen was an avid reader, golfer and a lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. She also was a lifelong Baptist and counted first Mt Zion Baptist Church in Lorain, OH, then Florence Baptist Temple, SC, and finally Antioch Baptist Church, VA, as her church homes.
Known as Oma to so many, Helen made friends and built family wherever she went thanks to a fantastic sense of humor and contagious smile. She is survived by her children (by birth and marriage) Kimber Garland-Holmes (and spouse Bernard Holmes) in Virginia, Allen “Mitchell” Sharp (and partner Linda Holloway) in Kentucky, Donna Garland (and spouse Deneice Garland) in Maryland, and Sonja Sharp in Ohio; her grandchildren Jacqueline Haller (Germany), Stephen Haller (Germany), Matthew Holmes (FL), Imari Jamison (TX), Courtney Holmes (AL), Kadeem Sharp (KY), Denzel Mungin (KY), Alexandra Holmes (VA), Isaiah Garland (MD) and Jared Garland (MD); brother Richard Middlebrooks (OH), sister Gwendolyn Middlebrooks (OH) and brother David Middlebrooks (MN); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and members of a rich extended family. Helen was predeceased by husbands Samuel Garland (2017) and George Mitchell Sharp (2012).
Helen’s remains will be interred at Resthaven Memorial Gardens (3700 Center Road, Avon, OH 44011) at 11:30 am EDT, Saturday, July 27, 2019. Family and friends are welcome. To honor the contributions of her time, talents and daughters, in lieu of flowers, please donate in memory of Helen Middlebrooks Sharp to the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio at www.gsneo.org/donate or mail checks to Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, 1 Girl Scout Way, Macedonia, OH, 44056.