Helen Graseck McClure


Helen McClure on June 12, 2016, after living with stage 4 lung cancer for four years. She died peacefully after farewells by family the day before.

Helen was born on Oct. 26, 1928, in Hollis, Queens, the second daughter of Mabel (Farleigh) Graseck and Arthur Vincent Graseck. The family moved to Port Washington in 1942. This is when Helen began participating in nature walks lead by Lyman Langdon, the junior high school principal and future founder of the Lyman Langdon Audubon Society.
Helen graduated from Wells College and later received her masters in education from Queens College. She is second in line of four generations of teachers in the family. She taught for five years in New York schools.

Helen’s first date with her future husband Robert McClure was on an Audubon field trip to Fire Island in May 1954. They were married six months later. They lived in Glen Head for the first seven years of their marriage and then moved to Locust Valley with their three children. Helen pursued many interests in her lifetime. She was a devoted mother, swimmer in the LI Sound, Girl Scout leader, avid birder, lover of gardening and all things nature: butterflies, moths, dragonflies, trees—even mosses and fungi drew her attention. She and Bob went on many trips with nature as their focus: Costa Rica, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Churchill at the Arctic Circle, the Everglades on a houseboat with Bob as skipper and a road trip through Florida to Texas, almost to the Mexican border and Illinois. She loved to play the piano and attend concerts at Planting Fields or the library. She played bridge with Bob and other couples and later, in local bridge groups. She was also an avid reader, attending the Casual Book club and Great Books book club at the Locust Valley Library for many years. Helen’s mother lived with Helen and Bob at the end of her life. They were avid Scrabble players and they both had a repertoire of memorized poems that they recited at appropriate times. Helen was filled with gratitude for all of the things that life brought her, even cancer, as she learned to appreciate life in the present moment. She was so grateful for the wonderful care she got from her healthcare providers, especially Dr. Galan and Dr. Vintila.

Helen is survived by her beloved husband Bob and children Dorothy (Alan Miller) of Darien, CT; Paul (Betsy) of Oviedo, FL; and Betty of Brooklyn, NY. She is also survived by her sister Janet Kobe and brother Arthur Graseck and grandchildren Julia and Paul Miller, in addition to many nieces and nephews. Beloved by Bob’s surviving siblings Ruth Bamberg, Pat McClure (Cindy Camus), David McClure (Sally). Helen was predeceased by her sister Cora. Arrangements by Dodge-Thomas.

There will be a memorial service on June 21, 2016, at 1 p.m. at The Brookville Church located at 2 Brookville Rd., Brookville, NY.

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