LEWISTON — Helen deRochemont Cole, 97, of Lewiston, died Tuesday, May 24, at Montello Manor.
She was born Feb. 6, 1914, in Rockland, a daughter of Henry M. and Lena Katherine (Fogg) deRochemont. A graduate of Rockland High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Colby College in 1936. After graduation, she attended the Maine School of Commerce, before working at Campbell’s Book Store and later at Porteous, Mitchell and Braun, all in Portland.
She and Garnold L. (Lefty) Cole were married at Pratt Memorial Methodist Church in Rockland on Aug. 18, 1939. They lived most of their married life in New York State, first in northern New York and later in the Hudson Valley.
When her children were in school, she returned to school and earned a master’s degree in elementary education in 1962 from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She taught for many years in the Pine Plains, N.Y. Central School District, most of it in Stanfordville, where she especially enjoyed teaching fifth graders.
She loved to travel, visiting Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong with her sister, Marguerite, visiting Europe with her daughter, Barbara or traveling with fellow teachers. In all, she visited 14 countries. She enjoyed reading and crossword puzzles. Like her father, she was an avid Red Sox fan.
In her early 60s, while recovering from an injury, she began swimming to regain her strength. For the first time, she had a formal swimming lesson and developed a powerful crawl stroke. While swimming at the YWCA or the Jewish Community Center, both in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., she counted laps: first marking 500 miles, then 750 and eventually 1,000 miles. She swam laps regularly until her late 80s.
She and her husband were longtime residents of Millbrook, N.Y., where they were members of the Lyall Memorial Federated Church and she volunteered for Meals on Wheels. When they retired, they began going to Sebring, Fla., in the winter. Before moving to Lewiston in 2002, she had been a full-time resident of Sebring.
She is survived by daughter, Marj Patrick and her husband, Lucien Mathieu, of Auburn; son, Lawrence of Pleasant Valley, N.Y.; daughter, Barbara Walker of Taylorsville, Ky.; four grandsons, David Patrick, Philip Patrick and his wife, Krista Olson and Jason and Justin Cole; two granddaughters, Telsa and Zoey Koza; a great-granddaughter, Eleanor Patrick; a great-grandson, James Patrick; and several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband; two sisters, Marguerite deRochemont and Donna Wetzel; and a brother, Clarence (Cap) deRochemont.
Online condolences and sharing of memories may be expressed at www.lynchbrothers.com.