Helen (Brown) Balcanoff, Easthampton, MA (12/29/1924-03/23/2022)
Helen (Brown) Balcanoff, age 97, passed away peacefully at home and surrounded by her family on March 23, 2022. Helen was born in Biltmore, North Carolina on December 29,1924, daughter of the late Elmo Brown and Mary (Morath) Brown. She was predeceased by her husband of 49 years, Dr. Eugene Balcanoff, her brother, Edward Brown, her sister, Eleanore Brown and a granddaughter, Kristina (Tina) Clark.
Helen graduated from Lee Edwards High School and St. Genevieve of the Pines Jr. College in Asheville, NC and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was a Social Worker for the Department of Social Services in Asheville and Durham, NC before moving to New England with her husband “Gene,” a Psychiatrist at Duke University Hospital and later in Boston, where they began their family in Needham, MA.After their children were grown, the couple moved to Colrain, MA, retiring in Greenfield, MA and later, the Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton, MA.
Together they raised5 loving and family oriented children, who subsequently continued to grow their close knit family with children of their own. Helen is survived by Karen Clark and her husband Russ, Stephen Balcanoff and his wife Denise, Sandra Schliesman and her husband Arthur, Richard Balcanoff and his wife Suzanne and Laura Giard and her husband James. Also surviving her are her 12 grown grandchildren – Sara, Kaisa, Alison, Helaina, Eric, Rachael, Jacob, David, Samuel, Christopher, Julia and Elise, as well as 3 great-grandchildren, Ava, Vera and Isaak.
Helen volunteered her services as a Home Health Aide in Needham, Wellesley and Newton for several years. She also volunteered with the BOOW at Franklin Medical Center for a time. She particularly enjoyed volunteering at the Lathrop Thrift Shop in more recent years, where she was well known as a familiar, warm, and well-loved member of the community, where she resided onTeaberry Lane in Easthampton since 1997. She and her son-in-law, Russ, were knownin the community for their almost daily walks during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, where they clocked an impressive 100 miles walked together, a pastime they enjoyed and continued until just weeks before her passing.
Helen will always be remembered as a gentle inspiration and support to family and friends. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother who radiated serenity, faithfulness and love. (And modesty).
In keeping with Helen’s wishes, a private family gathering to celebrate her life will be held at a later date. There are no calling hours.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Lathrop Community, 100 Bassett Brook Dr. Easthampton; https://lathrop.kendal.org/
Riverside Industries , 1 Cottage St. Easthampton; https://www.rsi.org/
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