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Dorothy Helm

April 15, 1922 August 30, 2010
Dorothy Helm
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Obituary for Dorothy Helm
Dorothy Helm was born April 15, 1922 in Detroit, Mich. and passed from this life on Aug. 30, at the age of 88 after a long illness.She is survived by daughters Pamela Busby (Richard) and Jacqueline Godfrey (Len), grandchildren Julianne, Tony, Grant, and Kurtis, and great grandson Joshua, brother Lawrence, and numerous nieces and nephews.Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband John in 1998 and oldest daughter Joyce in 1980.Dorothy was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, growing up during the Great Depression. After high school, she worked her way through college, pursuing her love of art at the Art Institute of Chicago.During WWII she met her husband John when she took his seat on the train while he was in the restroom. He was on his way back to his post in the Merchant Marines. His mom had sent him off with lots of goodies which he shared with the starving college student Dorothy after asking for his seat back. They exchanged addresses and were married after the war on Nov. 21, 1947.Dorothy and John had three daughters. They moved from Michigan to New York in 1956. Dorothy taught art classes to elementary students for several years before landing a job as a draftsman trainee at Sterling Forest Gardens, an unusual job for a woman in 1960. In 1963 John was transferred to California. They towed a travel trailer behind a new white Cadillac across the US, settling in the Bay Area. Dorothy landed a job in San Francisco as a draftsman then was hired by Kaiser Engineers in Oakland as an Electrical Engineer.When her daughters were teenagers she rekindled her love of art and painted many beautiful nature scenes that are still treasured by her family.After the girls left home in the 70s, John was transferred to Portland, Ore.There she worked for Tektronics as an Electrical Engineer, retiring in 1986. They moved back to California, settling in Vacaville to be near their daughter Pam.Every summer when the girls were young, they took a road trip to Michigan to visit family. Dorothy and John were original RVers and enjoyed many years of travel together. In 1997 they traveled for 3 months in a 34ft. motor home, including a stop in Michigan for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration with all of their family. By the time they returned home they had visited every continental state.Besides her love of art and travel, Dorothy loved animals. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the local SPCA. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 2, at 10:a.m. at McCune Garden Chapel with Pastor Raleigh Galgan of Valley Church officiating.
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