Lenore Carol Helwig
Born Nov. 24, 1931, Lenore Carol Helwig passed away from COVID-19 related complications Nov. 17, 2020. Growing up in Queens, she enjoyed countless days at Jones Beach. A budding still life artist, she attended P.S. 154 in New York and received a 2-year degree from the School of Industrial Art in 1949. Always enjoying and having a penchant for mathematics, Leny, as she was called by her friends, worked as a bookkeeper for the billing department of Motorola.
Having a passion for singing, while a member of the choir at the All Saints Lutheran Church she began her journey with the organist and choral director George French Reynolds. George served in the U. S. Marine Corps and was transferred to California while Lenore finished her degree. She followed him there where they were married in an intimate military ceremony on Nov. 5, 1950. Leaving Oceanside, California, they returned to New York in the mid-50’s and settled in Wantagh, where daughters Lynne and Kim were born. George, a talented composer and musician, taught at Baldwin High School, played the organ and directed the choirs at their church. In 1968, the family moved to Saranac Lake, where he became a pioneer faculty professor for the Music Department of the newly founded North Country Community College.
Leny developed her independence in the wintry weather of the Adirondack mountains. She worked part-time as a bookkeeper for local businesses, including the Whiteface Inn Resort and Santa’s Workshop, and was a voracious reader of crime and mystery novels. She was an avid skier, working at several of the world Cup Championships and as a finish line timer for the downhill and giant slalom events at the 1980 Winter Olympics. During the warmer months, she played singles and doubles tennis with her friends. Lenore, being a lover of cats, (having 2 dogs during her years in New York), had as many as 5 felines at one point, with her empathetic reputation resulting in several beautiful “strays” being left on her doorstep.
She was an integral influence in assisting George in the development of choral and orchestral workshops in the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake area, including the annual Adirondack Festival of American Music with the Gregg Smith Singers. With her resolve tested when George died unexpectedly in 1986 at 58 years of age and leaving her widowed at 54, she developed a passion for world travel, participating in countless tours with Elder Hostel and AARP. These included life experiences in Japan, the Galapagos, Budapest, Prague, Germany, England and Alaska to name a few. Some of her favorite excursions, however, were to Massachusetts to spend time with her family, especially her two grandsons.
Lenore forged her path to continue to advance her skills; she was certified in ski area management in 1986 and received two Associates degrees from North Country Community College; applied science in business administration in 1987 and science in 1988.
During a sailing excursion in 1995, Lenore suffered a life-changing medical event. She left Saranac Lake and moved to Chelmsford, Massachusetts, bringing her closer to her family. This afforded her the memorable life events of the wedding of her daughter, Kim and Steven Reid in 1998, and celebrating the scholastic, athletic and lifetime milestones and marriages of her grandsons, as well as the birth of her great-granddaughter in January 2019.
Lenore is survived by her daughters Lynne (Reynolds) and Mark Gollands, and Kim (Reynolds) and Steven Reid; grandsons Peter and Cassandra (Zouzas) and great-granddaughter Ophelia Gollands, and Eric and Gabriella (Catalano) Gollands; sister Carolyn “Cookie” (Helwig) Gilbert; and a nephew, nieces and their families.
Please join the Gollands and Reid families for a celebration of Lenore’s life 9:30-11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 at Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church St., Saranac Lake. Internment and graveside services will occur immediately following at St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Saranac Lake.