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Helen Tunnell ThomasFebruary 28, 2011
Chester, CT - Helen Tunnell Thomas, 99, died peacefully in her home at Chester Village West, Chester, CT on February 27, 2011. Born April 28, 1911 in Minneapolis, MN, she was the daughter of the late Paul and Anne Newlin Tunnell of Pittsburgh, PA. Mother of Sherley (Michael) Furgueson of Lyme, CT and Anne (George) T. Ide III of Troy, NY, grandmother of five: Michael (Kathy), Scott (Anne) and Timothy (Mimi) Furgueson, George (Cindi) P. Ide IV and Betsy (Robert) Ide Sullivan, great-grandmother of ten: Kate and Isabelle Furgueson, Reeve and Reagan Furgueson and Collin Mudgett-Furgueson, Madeline, Aubrey and Sarah Ide and Katie and Allie Sullivan. She is also survived by a niece, Penny Blaxter Page and a nephew, Vaughn Blaxter both of Pittsburgh, PA. She was predeceased by her husband of 51 years, Elmer R. Thomas of Troy, NY and her sister, Sherley T. Blaxter of Pittsburgh, PA. She was a graduate of Winchester School in Pittsburgh.
During WW II, Helen was a Nurses Aid in the Red Cross and volunteered with the USO. She was President of the Day Home of Troy, which was an organization for children in need of day care. Later she was the President of Family and Children Services of Troy, a successor organization to the Day Home. She was a board member of the Junior League and Vice President and Treasurer of the Women's Auxiliary of the Troy Samaritan Hospital, served as president of the Van Rensselaer Garden Club of Troy and was a member of the Fort Orange Garden Club of Albany, NY. She was an honorary lifetime member of the Troy Country Club. Helen managed a flower shop in Troy and later partnered with a dear friend to own and operate a woman's apparel and gift store in Loudonville, NY. Her love of flowers, gardens and gardening was only exceeded by the joy and love she had for her family. She took special delight in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren considering them to be an additional blessing in her life. She was kind, strong and had the gift to accept changes with grace during her 99 years.
A memorial service will be conducted March 19, 2011 at St. John's Episcopal Church at 146 1st Street at the corner of Liberty Street in Troy, NY at 11:00 AM. Following the service, interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Troy.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to St. John's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 422,Essex, CT 06426 or to St. John's Episcopal Church, 146 1st Street, Troy, NY 12180.