1918 – 2015

BOOTHBAY HARBOR — Helen Andrews Fehlau, 97, of Boothbay Harbor, died on Thursday, July 2.

She was born Mariette Helen Andrews on Jan. 16, 1918, the fourth daughter of Ethel Rollins Andrews and Harry Andrews. Her three older sisters, Ruby, Clara and Dorothy awaited her birth at home in Auburn. The winter of 1918 was the time of the Spanish Flu, and her father, Harry, died from the pandemic when Helen was just an infant.

Her mother, Ethel, worked full time to support the family; however, it became too difficult and Helen went to live with her grandparents, Frank and Ester Rollins of Sabattus.

She often reflected on simple life with her grandparents — walking to school and tending the garden. At age 6, her mother remarried and Helen moved back with her mother and stepfather in Auburn on Summer Street, a large home which she often enjoyed viewing on our trips to the family cemetery at Mount Auburn. She would pause and speak of the double parlor, where at Christmastime, the tree was placed in the cool parlor near the front windows.

Helen dedicated her career to teaching. She was a 1936 graduate of Edward Little High School in Auburn, and a 1939 graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington. She went on to receive her master’s degree from the University of Maine at Orono.

She taught in several schools systems in Maine, and her favorite position was teaching second grade. Helen thrived on the curiosity and vitality of those young children, just 7 or 8 years old. Her elementary school teaching career lasted more than 35 years, and in semi-retirement, she continued for a decade as a student teacher supervisor for new teachers around the Greater Portland area. She helped them fine-tune their craft and put the finishing touches on the skills necessary to succeed as educators.

She was married to Freeman Berry and was blessed by daughters, Lois-Jean and Elizabeth. Many of their summers were spent in a lovely cottage on Bailey’s Island. She later married Yngurd Fehlau and welcomed the arrival of their son, John.

In her retirement, she was the perfect “snowbird,” enjoying more than 25 years of winters in her home in Bradenton, Fla., and summers in Boothbay Harbor, the last 10 years spent in an apartment at St. Andrew’s Village.

Helen brought joy and laughter to the world and was always ready to offer the right words for any occasion. Among her many talents were writing, painting, reading and playing bridge. Her love and concern for others always outweighed her concern for herself. Helen brightened the lives of all those around her.

She was a truly special person who brightened the lives of so many in all aspects of her life. Her love of life, kindness and compassion, infectious smile, wit and wisdom and generous spirit affected all who knew her. She always gave of herself, as a great friend, an inspiring teacher, a leader in school and a loving mother. Helen will be missed very much by all who knew her and all will cherish the memories of her.

Helen was a Christian; her heart had been changed by the presence of God. She accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and believed in life everlasting and the great hope — that of heaven. Helen knew that she would get to heaven, because she had been freely given life and hope from the God who loves us all, through Jesus Christ.

Helen is survived by daughter, Lois-Jean Berry and partner, Linda Cavanaugh, of Boothbay Harbor; daughter, Elizabeth Reed and husband, Walter Reed, also of Boothbay Harbor; and son, John and wife, Jennifer, of Cumberland. She also leaves behind grandchildren, Joel Berry, Kimberli Gipson, Katherine “Kate” Fehlau and Alexander Edgecomb. Her great-grandchildren are Emily Gipson-Liberty, Cameron Berry and Zachary Spence.

We as a family find comfort in the many wonderful memories we have of her and the light and goodness she brought to so many people that will last for generations to come. Helen followed her dreams and lived a very full life. Her loss is felt by a large number of family members and many friends. She captured the hearts of everyone she met.

To extend online condolences, light a candle for Helen, or to share a story or pictures, visit her Book of Memories at www.hallfuneralhomes.com.

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