Obituary Listings

Helen Reed Tell

March 14, 1930 July 3, 2018
Helen Reed Tell
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Obituary for Helen Reed Tell

Helen Reed Tell, 88, passed away quietly in her bed at Jeffersontown Rehabilitation (formerly Good Samaritan Society) on July 3, 2018.
Helen was born on March 14, 1930, in Middletown, Oh., to Floyd Levan Reed and Helen Sinclair Reed. Her given name was Helen Rebecca Marie Reed. As her mother was also named Helen, family and friends called her "Becky."
Older sister S.N. Ruth and younger sister Lottie Ann Beard preceded her in death. Helen leaves behind a loving family, including daughter Barbara Lee Donaldson of Princeton, N.J.; son Warren Reed Donaldson (Cheryl) of Jeffersontown, Ky.; grandchildren Elizabeth Ann Egbert Schulson (Ben), John Peter Egbert III, William Robert Donaldson and Rachel Alayne Swann (Brice); and great-grandchildren Chloe Ray Schulson and Miles Smith Schulson.
Helen lived in many places during her lifetime, graduating from Annapolis (Md.) High School, Stephens College (Springfield, Mo.), Miami University (Oxford, Oh.) and Hunter College (New York City). She met her future husband, Robert James Donaldson, at Miami. After they wed in 1950, Helen worked as a civilian at Wright Paterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Oh. The family later moved to Roselle, N.J.
After becoming single, she moved to Florida for a time, then returned to New Jersey before settling into a home in Westport, Ct. For many years, Helen would commute to her job in New York City as a book editor for Holt, Rinehart and Winston. She was a pioneer among women professionals in the sixties, working with well-known authors such as Charles M. Schulz of "Peanuts" fame.
Helen began to realize her dream to "see the world" by taking Bobbie and Warren on a whirlwind tour of Europe in 1968. A year later, a similar but fictional tour group was glamorized in the movie, "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium." Not long after that, Helen returned to college to qualify as a teacher and accepted an offer by the Australian government to teach for a year. Helen traveled the length of Australia during breaks, but spent a lot of time in the classroom as well. She once said, "Their world history books tell history differently than we do in the U.S."
Florida was her next destination: Helen worked for a bank in Miami, Fl., and later moved on to Sun City Center, Fl., to start a new career as a real estate agent. "I love to match people up with their ideal home," she said. Helen married William F. Tell and they moved to a home along the local golf course, giving her a chance to pursue a new hobby on the links.
Playing cards was one of young Becky's favorite pastimes. Her Grammy, Ruth Sinclair, was a Canasta sharp and taught Bobbie and Warren a few of her secrets as well. They were never quite good enough to beat "Mom" on a regular basis. Helen also became an excellent bridge player and often traveled to attend duplicate bridge tournaments. The Sun City Center senior living scene was perfect for Helen as she played bridge, golfed and even took up lawn bowling. She was a strong swimmer and loved the ocean and beaches.
Helen was single again in her later years and in 2005 moved to Louisville, Ky., to be closer to family. She joined the Jeffersontown Senior Citizens Center and the Sword Searchers Sunday School class of Highview Baptist Church. Helen had her own home while she was able, but eventually needed more care. Hosparus Health of Louisville assisted Helen at Warren's home and then helped get Helen moved to her final destination at the Good Samaritan Society.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Hosparus Health:

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Event Information

Cremation has taken place.

Memorial Contribution

Hosaprus of Louisville


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