Cover photo for Helen Piehl's Obituary
Helen Piehl Profile Photo
1936 Helen 2024

Helen Piehl

February 2, 1936 — April 20, 2024


Helen Piehl, a cherished mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, treasured friend, and beloved community leader passed away on April 20, 2024. She was born on February 2, 1936, to Chester Hayes and Eula Knox Hayes. She had fond memories of growing up in Happy, Texas on the family farm playing with cousins under the watchful eyes of her mother and grandparents.

Helen’s service to others began early. While attending West Texas State University, her sister contracted Polio at which time Helen quit college to help care for her niece and nephew. She later returned to earn her Bachelor of Business Administration from this beloved university.

Bill Piehl and Helen were married in 1956. Together, Bill and Helen founded Western Sales & Testing in 1963 which has grown into a multinational business that has supported their family as well as many steadfast and hardworking employees.

Despite the demands of their busy lives, a passion for education inspired Helen and Bill to dedicate time to supporting the growth of their alma mater and the students following in their footsteps. Never turning down an opportunity to help a student in need, Helen led numerous efforts to fund scholarships and support West Texas A&M University. She had a special love for WTAMU athletics. She could be seen in the stands of every football, volleyball, basketball, and softball game. If she was unable to attend, she would be watching the game online, listening to broadcasts by Lucas Kinsey and Kent Johnson.

With dear friends, the Schaeffers, the Bains and others, Helen Piehl’s influence and gifts can be seen throughout the WTAMU campus along with scholarships and professorships to support students and faculty. If Helen and her dear friend, Geneva Schaeffer, saw a need, whether it be furnishings or locker room décor, together they took it upon themselves to fill it.  

She served as President of the WT Foundation Board and was an emeritus member until her death. Other recognitions include WTAMU Distinguished Alumni Award, WTAMU President’s Pioneer Award, Pinnacle Award and honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Education.

Other organizations benefitted from Helen’s commitment to serve throughout her lifetime. Bill and Helen had a special love for 4-H. Helen served as president of the Texas 4-H Foundation and was recently inducted into the inaugural class of the Texas 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame. Church, PTA, Laura H. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, and a host of other organizations were also blessed by her service.

Amidst her many business and scholastic accolades, she also raised two daughters who follow in her footsteps carrying on her legacies. She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, her sister, Lois Todd, and her brother, Steve Hayes. She leaves behind her two daughters, Plug Piehl and Puff Niegos, her five grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren.

A Memorial Service honoring Helen will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2024, at St. Stephen Church, 4600 S Western St. To view the live stream of the Memorial Service, please follow this link;

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the West Texas A&M University Foundation and the Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation. Web/Mailing addresses can be found below.


West Texas A&M University Foundation

WTAMU Box 60766

Canyon, TX 79016

(806) 651-2070


Texas 4-H Youth Development Foundation

PO Box 11020

College Station, TX 77842

(979) 845-1213

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Piehl, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, April 26, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Saint Stephen United Methodist Church 4600 S. Western St (Amarillo, Texas)

4600 South Western Street, Amarillo, TX 79109

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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