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Helen Gow of Warren died peacefully on Monday, March 5, 2012. Helen was born on March 18, 1927, in her grandmother’s house in Binghamton, New York. She was predeceased by her parents, a younger sister, seven aunts and nine uncles. She leaves behind her husband, Bob, daughter, Mary, son-in-law, Steve Hewitt, and beloved granddaughters, Elizabeth and Emily Hewitt, all of Warren. Helen is also survived by dozens of cousins, an assortment of Gow in-laws, and many friends who shared her good life.
After studies in Johnson City and Endicott, New York, schools, Helen graduated from Harper College/Syracuse University (now SUNY Binghamton) in 1950. She earned her master’s degree at Cortland Teacher’s College, her Principal’s Certification at Cornell University, and did further advanced study at the University of New Hampshire. Active in Harper College alumni affairs, she served on the board of the college’s foundation.
Helen traveled extensively. With the Experiment in International Living and the University of New York at Geneseo, she studied curriculum in Scandinavian countries and spent time in the Soviet Union in the Cold War years of the early 1960s. She studied open classroom in the United Kingdom. In more recent years, she ventured as far as New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia, while Bob participated in Earthwatch expeditions, fished and bird hunted in Canada, or played golf, often with Steve. Helen relished many family trips during Mary’s childhood when they camped across North America from Newfoundland to Key West to Alaska.
In 1969, Helen and Bob bought the Christmas Tree Inn in Warren, which they owned and ran for nearly 25 years. Helen taught language arts at Vermont Community College and enjoyed membership in the League of Vermont Writers, serving on its board and directing its manuscript critique service. She was honored as a LVW lifetime member. She wrote for magazines and newspapers (including The Valley Reporter); for educational journals she wrote about teaching strategies and programs.
For 24 years Helen served as a trustee of the Warren Library. She was Warren’s town service officer and worked with the Vermont Council on Aging. Among her other volunteer activities, she taught English as a second language and coached reluctant readers. She volunteered with the Mad River Valley Seniors when the program was based at the Waitsfield Fire Department and greatly enjoyed assisting at the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce.