Helen Ann Fehrle


Helen Ann Fehrle, 73, died April 25, 2009, at a Deer Isle nursing home. The daughter of George “Hun” and Marvel (Tracy) Bradbury, Helen was born June 21, 1935, in Franklin.

She attended Ellsworth High School. After graduating, she enjoyed life as a waitress on Cape Cod and in Florida, as well as in Bar Harbor. While visiting her brother, Harold “Barney,” in Hawaii, she met Fred Fehrle and his daughter, LuAnne. After a whirlwind courtship and a Valentine’s Day engagement, Helen and Fred married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1962. It is often said that behind every great man is a great woman; Helen cracked jokes and cracked the whip and they made a dynamic couple. Fred was serving in the U.S. Navy and they resided on Midway Island and in California, where many deep bonds, joined with love and laughter, were made with friends. When they retired, they moved to Oklahoma, where Fred was born, and then to Franklin, where Helen was born. They eventually settled in Blue Hill, raising two daughters, Laurie and Julie Jo. Helen loved the community of Blue Hill and the people in it. Helen made a lot of great friends and kept them close. She volunteered with many local organizations: Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Tree of Life, Hospice, Blue Hill Congregational Church, and many others. Helen worked in the cafeteria at George Stevens Academy while her girls attended school there. She was always there with a laugh, compassion, and a helping hand and, in later years, she was very appreciative of the community’s care, especially from the home health aides and the staff at the Island Nursing Home. Helen creatively maintained her dignity, often colored with her quick wit and her great sense of humor, during her long and difficult struggle with Alzheimer’s. Helen was sometimes called “Hecky” nicknamed that because people weren’t supposed to say “Hel.” Helen adored the children in her life and had a special relationship with them. She was a thoughtful and caring mother and shared her love with many children besides her own. Helen loved black-eyed Susans and wild flowers.

She was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Fred; her brothers Paul and Ron; and her sisters, Ruth “Rupie” Rock, Florence “Flos” DeSanto, Brenda, and Joyce. She is survived by her brother, Harold; her daughters LuAnne Fehrle of Marysville, Wash., Laurie Coleman of Bucksport and Julie Jo Fehrle of Brooklyn, N.Y.; son-in-law, Gerald Coleman; grandson, Austin Coleman; and granddaughter, Natalie Coleman; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, in-laws and dear friends.

A memorial celebration will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, May 30, 2009, at the Blue Hill Congregational Church. Helen would be delighted if, in her memory, friends and family contributed by volunteering in their local communities. Donations may be made in her memory to the Island Nursing Home in Deer Isle, Hospice of Hancock County or the Tree of Life.

Know when to pay your respects.