City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremation

Helen S. Tugwell

Raleigh, North Carolina

Age 96.
Died 06/03/2023.

Helen S. Tugwell
Helen Sturgeon Tugwell, 96, died June 3, 2023 at UNC Rex Hospital, following a brief illness. She was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on January 24, 1927, to George and Lucy Sturgeon. She attended school in both Kentucky and North Carolina, followed by East Carolina Teachers College and the University of Louisville. She lived in Farmville, NC, for 35 years before moving to Raleigh in 1987.
When she moved to Raleigh, she became active in the newcomer’s club, joined a dinner club and joined Greystone Baptist Church. She served as a host mother to a NCSU PhD student from Taiwan. Helen loved to travel and visited many places both domestically and internationally, even into her eighties. Highlights of her travels included trips to Hawaii and the Western US, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and many other countries. She participated in Raleigh Friendship Force trips to France and Belgium and hosted visitors from many countries.
She is survived by three daughters, Cheryl Tugwell of Iowa City, Iowa, Marla Tugwell Adams (Joel) of Asheville, NC, and Jan Tugwell of Raleigh, one grandchild, Ian Nilausen (EJ) of Illinois, three step grandchildren Akim Nilausen (Valerie) of Wisconsin, Sam Adams of Pennsylvania and Sadie Walters (Adam) of Raleigh, 1 great grandchild and 6 step great grandchildren. She is also survived by 6 nephews and 5 nieces. In addition she is survived by dedicated friends Eurice Mendoza and family, Stephanie Dodd, and Mike Buckel.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lucy and George Sturgeon, infant sister Joneva Ruth Sturgeon, and brothers Leon Sturgeon and Eldon Sturgeon, sister-in-law Jo Anne Sturgeon, and son-in-law Erik Nilausen.
A memorial service will be held at Greystone Baptist Church at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, June 6. The family will receive friends in the Gathering Room at the church beginning at 5:00 pm. At Helen’s request, her body was donated to Duke University School of Medicine Anatomical Gifts Program. As an alternate to flowers, donations may be made to Greystone Baptist Church, 7509 Leadmine Rd., Raleigh, NC 27615 or the charity of your choice. The family will be at her home in Raleigh at other times. The memorial service may be viewed live at

For additional information or for service details, please reach out to the family directly.

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City of Oaks Cremation and Funeral Home is a full-service funeral home in Raleigh, serving all of North Carolina and beyond. We provide an alternative to costly funeral homes and every day we help families in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and all over North Carolina make simple, affordable funeral arrangements.

Simply having to reach out to a funeral home can feel overwhelming. Our goal is to simplify the entire funeral home experience and make the process as easy as possible. We hope to eliminate any unnecessary surprises by publishing our total cost and the services we provide directly on our website. All of our obituaries are provided free of charge as a way to help families celebrate and commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

Our Promise

Apples to Apples

Just like all other licensed funeral homes in North Carolina, City of Oaks Cremation, LLC is regulated by the NC Board of Funeral Service.

The same laws that apply to the big corporate funeral homes also apply to the modest independently owned firms like ours. All crematories in North Carolina, regardless of who owns them, are inspected annually by the state and must adhere to the same rules and laws.

Genuine Care

We're committed to providing families within our community unsurpassed service before, during and after the time of loss.

Our staff will provide clear communication to your family through each step as we move forward from the original phone call notifying us of a death to the time we deliver the urn back to your family. We will treat your family with the utmost respect, as we honor the wishes of your loved one.

We promise to make this process affordable and as endurable as possible.

State Wide

Our Funeral Home is located in Wake County NC; however, we provide our services to families throughout the entire State.

Unlike other funeral homes, we don't charge an additional mileage fee. Regardless of what county you live in, we can help your family with making simple, affordable funeral arrangements. From Asheville to Wilmington, we're proud to help families statewide.

Our Services

Direct Cremation


Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. We include everything you need for a simple or direct cremation. Simple, affordable and reliable. We have not changed the cost of our direct cremation service since we opened City of Oaks in 2012.

Cremation with Solidified Remains


We offer the option of choosing how you receive your loved ones remains. Selecting our Direct Cremation with Solidified Remains option is a beautiful way to transform cremated remains into 40-60 “stones” that you can hold.

Cremation with Visitation


City of Oaks Funeral Home and Cremation provides an affordable cremation option with onsite visitation. Nobody likes surprise costs added in at the last minute. We guarantee you will not find any hidden charges here. Simple, affordable and reliable.

Immediate Burial


An immediate burial has the same end result as a traditional burial; however, we have eliminated the extra (sometimes unnecessary) services prior to getting to the cemetery. Not everyone wants an open casket for viewing or a limousine for the family. Despite the term immediate, we can move as fast as you need or as slow as you like. This option simply allows you to save money by eliminating some of the fancy extras at the funeral home.

Traditional Funeral


We offer the same traditional funeral services as the big corporately owned funeral homes in the area; however, we cost about half the amount. You might consider a traditional funeral service if your family is looking for an open casket visitation, a traditional church service or a funeral service in the funeral home's chapel. A traditional funeral service can be altered to fit the needs of your family.

Green Burial


This establishment is one of a select number of funeral homes who meet the criteria for providing green funeral service by the Green Burial Council; a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization working to encourage environmentally sustainability in the field of funeral service. Our Green options allow for a funeral to take place without the use of toxic and non-biodegradable materials/chemicals.



As an alternative to traditional cremation, City of Oaks Funeral Home also offers Aquamation. The Aquamation process, often referred to as alkaline hydrolysis, uses a solution of water and potassium hydroxide to facilitate natural decomposition.

City of Oaks Funeral Home & Cremations