Helen Ann Tompkins passed away peacefully at Cove’s Edge on Jan. 12; exactly four weeks shy of her 100th birthday. She was born on Feb. 9, 1917 in Englewood, N.J. and was the youngest daughter of John and Catherine Quinn.
Following graduation from St. Cecilia’s High School in Englewood, she worked in New York City for R.H. Sterns where she met her future husband, Frederic Bailey, who was the manager of the shoe department. Married in May of 1940, Helen and Fred relocated to Birmingham, Mich. where Fred was the manager of the shoe department of Travers-Bird Department Store in Detroit.
After the birth of their only child, Fred enlisted in the Navy Reserves and the family returned to New Jersey. On Jan. 25, 1944, Fred was killed in an air raid aboard the Liberty Ship SS F.A.C. Muhlenberg. Helen remarried in 1949 and moved to Cape Cod with her second husband, M. Hobart Tompkins. In the early 1950s, they built and managed the Tides Motel in South Chatham. Helen continued to live on the Cape until 2003 when she moved to Damariscotta to be closer to her daughter and family.
Helen worked for many years as a real estate broker and “loved seeing potential” in old houses and barns. Being very creative, she enjoyed decorating homes and would frequently design an outfit for a special occasion. As many have noted, she was prim and proper, but she also loved an adventure. She especially loved antiques, shoes, shopping (especially to Macy’s), nice linens, eating lobster rolls, gummy bears and kettle corn, and never missed an opportunity to play penny slots.
In her younger days, she learned how to paint in the tole style and decorated pieces of tinware and crocks. Independence was paramount to her and even in her last days, she slept with her cane nearby. A devout Catholic, she said the rosary every day and loved the old church of St. Patrick.
Helen loved her family and loved doing things with her daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Family celebrations such as birthdays, holidays and especially Christmas were special to her.
Helen was predeceased by her parents; sisters, Mary, Kathleen and Lou; and husband Fred.
She is survived by daughter, Mary Douglas (Dougie) and husband David Gaul; grandchildren, Mary Shanna, Travis, Sarah and Ryan; great-grandchildren, Anouk Donaldson, Gus Donaldson, Natalie Hill, Evie Gaul, Felix Gaul, Linus Gaul, and Claudia Gaul; numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews; and several cousins including Norman Boyan of Santa Barbara Calif.
Helen’s funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m., Sat., June 10 at St. Patrick Church in Newcastle. She will be laid to rest following the service in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
Condolences, and messages for the family, may be expressed by visiting www.StrongHancock.com.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta.