SAD NEWS - Helen Ide (Faculty)
posted 11 March 2017
Dear Friends of Helen Ide,
Helen completed her life on earth shortly before 6 am on March 5, 2017, as dawn began to lighten the morning sky - always an early riser.
In the days before, her seven children came from across the country and around the globe, keeping watch beside her bed around the clock and gathering each evening to sing her on her way, anointing her with oil, blessings, tears, affection, admiration and gratitude. Spouses, grandchildren, friends, and caregivers whose loving hands had nurtured her for weeks, months, even years, completed the circle. We know that many kept watch from afar. Thank you. Be well. Blest be the tie that binds.
Meditation Before Kaddish
When I die give what's left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I've known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn't die, people do.
So, when all that's left of me is love,
give me away.
MUSICIAN, TEACHER, MOTHER,
WORLD TRAVELLER, VOLUNTEER,
Obituary by Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home
Helen Louise French Ide was born in Omaha, NE on June 19, 1924, the only child of William E. and Edna E. French. Her people were from Kansas and Indiana, but she grew up in Boulder City, NV, where her parents migrated during the Depression. Her memories of Las Vegas went back to when it was home to tent neighborhoods with dusty roads where she and her mother lived while her father helped to build Boulder (now Hoover) Dam and the homes that became Boulder City. All her life she would gladly describe herself as a "desert rat." She was valedictorian of the first graduating class of Boulder City High School, and Phi Beta Kappa at Pomona College where she majored in Spanish and music.
Helen married William Carter Ide in 1949 and accompanied him to Washington, DC and foreign service posts in Denmark, France, Pakistan, the Dominican Republic, India and Nepal. While traveling the world she raised seven children and graciously fulfilled the social expectations of the diplomatic life. In each new location, Helen was noted for her interest in others and in different cultures, and for her contributions as a Spanish teacher, church organist, pianist, singer, and volunteer. She loved babies, dogs, walks, afternoon tea, sweet things, music, mountains and deserts. In her later years she described herself as a "Zen Episcopalian," and she followed a daily spiritual practice until she became too frail to continue.
Helen was predeceased by her husband, Carter, in 2007, and her grandson, Will, in 1996. She is survived by her seven children: Gretchen Ide Kossack '67, (Bob) of Shrewsbury, MA; David Ide '69, (Lian Hu) of Bethesda, MD; Jennifer Taylor-Ide '70, of Franklin, WV; Rebecca Ide Lowe '72, (Tom) of Ojai, CA; Peter Ide '75, (Safa) of Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Susan Ide Patton, (Paul) of Vienna, VA; and Nicholas Ide '80, (Laure Redifer) of Washington, DC; eleven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. The family includes in its circle, Celestine Denys of Milford, CT; Daniel Taylor of Franklin, WV; Meri Siegel of Falls Church, VA; Julie Ide of Portland, OR; Shree Sharma and family of Olympia, WA and
Rita Gurung and family of New York City. The family is very grateful to the many kind and dedicated individuals who provided care to our mother over the past several years, including Shukria Hassan, Jia-ying Liu, and foremost among them Isatu Roberts, who also cared for our father at the end of his life.
Donations in Helen's honor can be made to:
WETA Classical Music: 3939 Campbell Avenue; Arlington, VA 22206
703-998-2600 or donate online
Committee for Helping Others (CHO)(social service assistance for Vienna
and surrounding communities)
703-281-7614 or donate online
Church of the Holy Comforter: 543 Beulah Road; Vienna, VA 22180
703-938-6521 or donate online
The Barns at Wolftrap: 1635 Trap Road; Vienna, VA 22182
703-255-1900 or donate online