Helen Jane Grohman, 102, of Bremen and Manteo, N.C., died peacefully with her family at home in Manteo, N.C. on May 26.
Helen was born in Hanover, Ohio on Jan. 29, 1915, daughter of Lawrence and Mary Williams Giffen. She attended Hanover Village School through high school, graduating at the top of her class. After studying at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, she went on to attend Battle Creek College in Michigan, studying under the direction of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and working in his famous sanitarium. When Battle Creek closed its doors during WWII, she transferred to Michigan State University to earn her B.S. in Home Economics and Nutrition in 1939.
Always up for an adventure, Helen headed to California for her first job assignment as therapeutic dietitian for Ventura County Hospitals. She embraced life in the west and married fellow adventurer Merril Grohman in 1950. Thus began an exciting chapter in her life as the young couple lived in California, Maryland, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and back in California while giving birth to three children along the way. In her 102 years, she lived in 10 states, and worked as a dietitian, librarian, printer’s assistant, gardener, and nanny. In later years she lived with her children and grandchildren in Maine, Ohio, and North Carolina.
Helen’s life was a testament to inner strength and resilience – finding joy in the wonders of nature, fulfillment in tending the soil and cultivating a garden, and harboring a deep curiosity about her fellow humans and the changing world around her. She brought a wonderful sincerity to all her days, and possessed keen powers of observation that unveiled hidden dimensions in everyday life.
Helen is survived by her children, Tanya Grohman and husband Clifford Granitzki of Manteo, N.C., David Grohman and wife Marthe of Hanover, Ohio, and Kamala Grohman and husband Jefferson Cotton of Bremen; grandson, Jesse Granitzki and wife Cara; great-grandsons, Bradley, Ayden, and Taylor Granitzki of Manteo, N.C.; and granddaughters, Amelia Grohman of Sunnyside, N.Y., Brianna Grohman of Durham, N.C., Jillian Grohman of Brattleboro, Vt., and Josephine Cotton of Bremen.
Memorial services will be held in Ohio and Maine in the coming weeks.