Helen Parker

Obituary of Helen Parker

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Just over a century ago, Helen Parker was born a premature baby weighing only 3 pounds. She was named hastily in case she did not survive, as was likely in those days. But survive she did, until this year when she passed away in Schenectady at age 101. Helen attended Washington Irving High School and then Cooper Union in New York City, both art schools. An accomplished painter like her mother before her, Helen worked in an art studio prior to WW2. During the war, the OSS (forerunner of the CIA) used her talents in drafting their charts and maps. Helen hoped to work as a commercial artist after WW2, having specialized in advertising design at Cooper Union. However, it was difficult for women to get non-traditional jobs at that time, especially with returning servicemen also seeking employment after the war. Instead, she had a long career at the New York Stock Exchange as an executive secretary and communications specialist until her retirement. During her lifetime Helen was a devoted Third Order Franciscan and a volunteer in many capacities to her Episcopal Church in New York City, and later in Suffern NY. In addition, Helen had a long association with Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, where she volunteered in their neonatal unit. She was also an avid outdoorswoman. As a Girl Scout leader, she organized and led many camping, hiking, and canoe trips in the Catskills and Adirondacks and beyond - as far afield as the mountains of northern Idaho. Helen enjoyed season tickets to the Metropolitan Opera. She liked to travel - around North America, Europe, and tropical islands. After retirement from the stock exchange, Helen was a collector of dolls and of fine china, and cherished a number of antiques inherited from her family. She gave generously not only of her time, but also of her belongings to those less fortunate than she was. She is survived by her niece and nephews, grand nephews, great-grand nieces and great-grand nephews. Helen's family extends their gratitude to the people who helped care for her.
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Helen Parker

In Loving Memory

Helen Parker

1922 - 2023

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