"My Grandmother" Helen Doumas
Helen Doumas, my grandmother, was a very
special person in my life. She was a
self-taught, gracious homemaker AND a
business-woman. She taught me many things
about life, and some of the finer things that
can still be found and practiced by genteel
Southerners. The facts below were
lifted from her obituary, which was written by
The daughter of George
Welford Jennings and Mary DeClifford Spindle
Jennings, she was born Nov. 29, 1911, in
Screamersville, now known as Chancellor, in
Spotsylvania County. She was the
second eldest of ten children - there were 5
girls, and 5 boys. Helen was the last
survivor of the Jennings family. The widow of Constantinos
A. Doumas, she was baptized "Helen" in the Greek
Helen was a member of many
organizations devoted to conservation and
preservation including The Kenmore Association
and the Association for the Preservation of
She and her husband,
owners and operators of the Mayflower
Restaurant, a prominent downtown landmark during
the 1940s and 1950s.
She spent nearly 20 years as
a part-time tour-guide at Kenmore Mansion. She
had been employed at the Fredericksburg Visitor
Center and was the night clerk at the Princess
Her long-term hobby interests
were crocheting and knitting needlework, and she
was an active member of The Kenmore Stitchery.
In her later years, she became an avid herb
gardener, cultivating dozens of plants in her
colonial herb garden.
People were enthralled by her
beautifully-tended herb and flower garden. Her garden and yard were her
pride & joy. The local Fredericksburg
newspaper, The Free-Lance Star, actually
featured my grandmother's garden in an article,
along with a beautiful color picture of her in
the garden. It was quite well known, along
with the many herbs.
A little project of mine in
mid-May 2005 was to contact as many of the
Jennings/Doumas family members as I could via
email. I requested that they submit
stories, anecdotes, and memories of Helen Doumas
/ Jenelle Jennings. I have
been collecting the
[click the link to read them] in a computer file
to publish to this page, so that everyone may read
them, friend and family of the Doumas and
Jennings families. This was
compiled for the surviving
of my grandmother - Christine
and her brothers, Art and Bill, and they are
welcome to send me a funny incident or touching
memory as well for publication for all to see.
anytime may submit via email or fax or
snail mail to me to have published to this file. Please continue to check or
refresh this "memories"
link - as the
file will be continually updated with stories.
I hope to receive a good many more.
request a fax#,
mailing address, more information, or to send a
submission via email .