Helene Theodora’s Obituary (1934 – 2022) – Flagstaff, AZ

Helene Annette Theodoras, MAJ USAF RET, Vietnam Era Veteran, died in Flagstaff, AZ on July 31, 2022. She was born in Dayton, OH on December 1, 1935 to Basil William Theodoras and Camille Poffenberger. A talented alto saxaphone player in high school, Helene (Ted-E) got $10.00 every Saturday night performing in a women’s dance band. While in college she worked as Girls’ Recreation Director at Shawen Acres in Dayton. After receiving her BS in Education in Biology and Physical Education, at University of Dayton in 1957, she became according to her base commanders a “top notch” Administrative Officer serving September 1957 through March 1960 Air Force Active Duty at Lackland, McGuire, Travis and Hickam (Hawaii’s favorite Air Force Base). She then joined the reserves honorably discharged as a Major, USAFR on July 29, 1974. During the sixties, she was Child Care supervisor at the Children’s Home and Aid Society in Chicago, IL. As her parents’ health declined, she resigned to return to Dayton, OH to care for her parents at the same time working as Child Care Supervisor at Shawen Acres in Dayton, OH. Needing a break, Helene visited friends in Flagstaff, AZ ultimately staying here. In 1973-1978 she was an AZ State Hospital Community Liaison serving as behavioral health counseling specialist. Based in Flagstaff her job consisted of traveling twelve AZ counties working with judges to inform them of the mental health law. One of these judges was Sandra Day O’Connor, recently appointed Judge, Superior Court, Maricopa County, who asked Helene to help her interpret this law. In 1978 the Flagstaff position was abolished. From 1979-1983 Helene worked at WL Gore as a medical researcher building prototype flex heart valves and training new workers. In 1984 Helene retired to build her home, an earth shelter. Retirement kept her busy. Friends enjoyed her stories and various puns. She was a skilled markswoman. Mechanically inclined she engraved with her Dremel tool flagstone tombstones for her deceased pets. She also kept her Pleasure Way RV in shape traveling Canada and the USA including Alaska where she co-piloted a plane over the Arctic Circle. RV friends touted her organizational and persuasive abilities to caravan 75 Pleasure Way RVs 13 miles from the Carlsbad KOA to the outdoor theater in Carlsbad, NM. Later newspaper reporters told of possible UFO’s from Roswell being transported! Helene also volunteered as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for Northland Hospice in Flagstaff, AZ. During this time Helene, a cancer survivor, counseled many women in cancer support groups often sharing Edward Cayce’s thoughts about reincarnation and even “adopting six children.” She was most proud of becoming a charter member of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).
Surviving family members are brother, Basil (Suzanna) Theodoras and their families; deceased sister, DO Mary Saul’s children and their families and Priscilla Trowbridge, loving partner and soulmate.
Thanks to the Hospice crew, various caregivers especially Vera Matzkanin and many friends.
There will be a private military burial graveside service. Invitation only.
Memorial contributions may be made to the following:
Credit card donations may be made directly on their website at www.nazada.org, “Ways to Give”.
Checks may be made to: NAZADA c/o Susan Butler, CPA, 1600 W. University Ave Suite 209 Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Published by Norvel Owens Mortuary – Flagstaff on Aug. 2, 2022.

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