Half Staff – Helen Marie Paradis

April 22, 2008
Birth: 1922-12-16 in Evans, Oregon
Residence: St. Mary’s City, Maryland
Death: Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Laid to Rest: Friday, May 02, 2008 in the Trinity Episcopal CemeteryClick to see full size photoHelen Marie Paradis, 85, of St. Mary’s City, MD died April 22, 2008 at Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

Helen was born in Evans, OR on December 16, 1922, the fourth daughter of the family. She attended school in Wallowa, OR, and Eastern Oregon College of Education in LaGrande, OR.

An avid aviation enthusiast, she started flying at 16 from a local cow pasture. She worked at a newspaper and the First National Bank of Portland before joining the Navy on December 24, 1942.

She attended boot camp in the first class at Hunter College, New York City. Following duty stations were NATTC, Memphis, and Whiting Field and Mainside at Pensacola.

She married John Paradis on October 5, 1946, after discharge from the Navy with 43 months service and many more flight hours in Navy and civilian aircraft. They lived in Norfolk, VA, Atlantic City, NJ, and moved to St Mary’s County in April 1948.

Helen was a member of the Grey Ladies at Patuxent River for years and of St. Mary’s County Garden Club 40 plus years. She was an avid sailor beginning while stationed in Pensacola, FL, and continuing while crewing with her husband for some 50 years. They sailed extensively in the Chesapeake Bay plus many cruises to New England and back. In 1980, they sailed to Glacier Bay Alaska and back to San Francisco, CA with friends Barbara and “Tuck” Tucker for a great three and a half month cruise.

Helen taught youth sailing and water safety to some 20 youngsters at St. Mary’s River Yacht Club at St. Mary’s City during the 1950’s and 1960’s. She served many years as Race Committee Chairman and Vice Commodore of the yacht club.

Helen taught sailing at St. Mary’s College from 1967-1972 in recognition of which a room in the new college sailing center will be named in her honor.

In 1982 she purchased Breton House Gift Shop with Carol Neidhold and Joan Sullivan, which they ran for some 6 years.

She enjoyed a full, busy and interesting life and will be missed by many.

Helen is survived by her husband, John Paradis, and her three sons, John Paradis of Norfolk, VA, Peter and his wife Debra of San Jose, CA, and Richard Paradis of St. Mary’s City, grandson, Carter Paradis of Spotsylvania, VA, nephew Stephen Martin and his wife Carol and three grown children of Baker City, OR, brother-in-law William Paradis of Lyme, CT, Niece Lea Ann Paradis and husband Jim Venditto and daughter Taryn of North Stonington, CT, nephew William Paradis, Jr. of Philadelphia, PA, niece Dawn Peret and children Samuel, Michael and Grant of Mount Vernon, NH, niece Kim Blanchard and husband Allan and children Kelly and Travis of North Tinsbury, CT, nephew Allan Paradis and wife Caryn and daughter Vivian of Deep River, CT, nephew Kristian Paradis of Philadelphia, PA, and many other friends.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 1, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Brinsfield Funeral Home Chapel, Leonardtown, MD. Prayers will be recited at 7:00 p.m. A memorial mass will be held on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in St. Cecilia’s Church, St. Mary’s City, MD. Interment will follow in Trinity Church Cemetery.

Contributions may be made to SMAWL (St. Mary’s County Animal Welfare League), P.O. Box 1232, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD.