Helen Carver was a hard-working woman who is being remembered for her perseverance.

After her husband, Robert, died in April 2012, Carver was still suffering from grief and wanted something more. She found that something at Owls Head Baptist Church several hundred feet from her longtime home on South Shore Drive, both her pastor and her eldest son said.

Her pastor, Paul Munro, said Carver began coming to church about a year after her husband died. She got to church every Sunday, even though she had to get there by using a walker.

One day, she fell over and landed in a ditch near the church, but was unharmed, Munro recalled. From that point on, church members insisted on giving Carver a ride. The pastor and two other men built a ramp for Carver, who later used a wheelchair to get around.

Carver died Thursday, Feb. 21, at her home in Owls Head. Maine State Police said the 83-year-old woman died of blunt force trauma at the hands of 37-year-old Sarah Richards of neighboring South Thomaston.

The church held a gathering Sunday, Feb. 24, for people to share their feelings.

"Everybody is just horrified," Munro said. "This was not just a singular event. There must have been a lot of tragedies to bring her (Richards) to this point," Munro said.

Munro said Carver was not normally a sociable person, but that the church offered her a social outlet and the members took to her. Even before she became a member of the church, Carver volunteered to write cards from her home to members of the congregation for their birthdays, anniversaries, or at times when they were sick or experienced a loss.

Carver found a relationship with Jesus, Munro said. During a visit to her home, the pastor said Carver had acknowledged that she had been experiencing anxiety attacks, but talked to Jesus and the attacks disappeared.

She was baptized in 2015 on the shore of Waterman's Beach in South Thomaston. Carver was terrified of water because of an incident when someone threw her into the water when she was a child, her son Robert said.

So instead of immersing Carver into the ocean for the baptism, the church had her wear a poncho and poured water over her.

The pastor said another example of Carver's perseverance was the time she was in the hospital and she vowed to return home. She did all the physical therapy and exercises so she could get home and return to church.

Carver was born Helen Pinkerton in 1935 in Rockland. She met Robert Carver and the two married in November 1957 at the First Baptist Church of Rockland. The couple moved to Hollywood, Fla., where Robert worked for A & P Grocery. In 1968, they moved to Bangor, when her husband was reassigned to a store there.

Helen worked at banks in Florida and at Northeast Bank in Bangor.

The couple moved to Owls Head in 1977 to a home that had been in her husband's family for three generations. They operated Carver's Market in Thomaston — which was at the intersection of Main and Beechwood streets — from 1977 to 1989.

Her son said his mother was a hard worker. He said his mother was both the stern one of the parents and also the more organized.

Rob Potter of Vinalhaven said he knew the Carvers when they ran the store.

Potter said that the husband always worked at the meat counter and would talk at length, while Helen always operated the cash register and was pleasant, but quiet.

Robert said his mother loved collecting souvenirs when she and her husband traveled after their retirement. The house is filled with knickknacks. One visit that his mother enjoyed most was to the Dollywood resort in Tennessee.

Munro said the Sunday gathering to recall Carver allowed members to talk and share stories.

In addition to Robert Carver, she is survived by two other children, Glenn Carver of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Lucinda Carver of Tucson, Ariz.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, March 1, at Owls Head Baptist Church, 37 South Shore Drive. Interment will be at a later date in Evergreen Cemetery, Owls Head. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Owls Head Baptist Church, P.O. Box 81, Owls Head, ME 04854. To share a memory or story with Helen’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at bchfh.com. Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.