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Helen Houston

Mary Helen (Wiley) Houston, 95, of Kenton passed away Dec. 1, 2023, at Magnolia Place Assisted Living in Union City. She was the mother of Beverly (Houston) Grady of Union City and Gary Houston (Marsha) of Rives.
Services were Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Kenton Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Tony Smith officiating. Burial followed in Rutherford Cemetery.
Pallbearers were Johnny White, Scott Gilliam, Joe Sharp, Matthew Pitts, Bob Hollomon, Randy Pitts, Mike Perryman and Jason Cox. Honorary pallbearers were the staff of Magnolia Place Assisted Living.
Visitation was held at the church from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday.
Karnes & Son Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
The family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis or to the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
Mrs. Houston was born Oct. 23, 1928, in Kenton, daughter of the late Iverson and Hessie (Ward) Wiley.
She married Coy Reece Houston in 1947. He died in 2012.
She had worked at the former Libby’s Dress Shop in Union City for many years and then for the late Dr. Jack Gray of Kenton.
She was the oldest living member of Kenton Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
In addition to her daughter, her son and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Houston is also survived by six grandchildren, Melissa Brown (Todd), Helen Melsa, Luke Melsa (Amy), Mary Margaret Read (David), Dr. Lolly Eldridge (Stephen) and Jim Coy Houston (Jenny); 17 great-grandchildren, Houston Brown (Shantell), Parker Brown, Miller Brown, Harry Brown, Sofia Shaikh, Anna Shaikh, Reese Shaikh, Lane Melsa, Camron Melsa, Olivia Melsa, Ryder Melsa, Georgia Anne Read, Madeline Eldridge, Emily Eldridge, Abbott Houston, Lynnlee Houston and Cora Houston; two great-great-grandchildren, Waylon Brown and Kennedy Brown; and several nieces and nephews.
She was also preceded in death by her grandson, Hunter Houston Grady; her daughter, Janet Melsa; her son-in-law, Lonnie Grady; and two sisters, Frances White and Celia Spence.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at

Published in The Messenger 12.6.23