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Eustis & Cornell Funeral Home

142 Elm Street, Marblehead, MA

OBITUARY

Helen Merriam Egan

July 13, 1919June 11, 2020

MARBLEHEAD - Helen Isabel (Merriam) Egan died peacefully of injuries resulting from a fall, June 11, 2020, just a few weeks shy of her 101st birthday. Helen was born in Toronto Canada on July 13th, 1919 to Grace (Andrews) Merriam of Toronto and Sidney Augustus Merriam, an American Marine Lt. who joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914 because he “didn’t want to miss out” on the great world war. Sidney met Grace while convalescing from his war injuries in the Andrews family home in Toronto. At the age of five, Helen and the family moved to her father’s ancestral home of Marblehead Massachusetts where she quickly integrated into the fabric of life in this quiet seaside town. She attended Marblehead High School and earned a teaching degree from the Massachusetts College of Art. After a brief stint teaching art, she became the first woman draftsperson at the GE Aircraft Instrument Division during World War II where she met her future husband J. Thomas Egan of Wakefield Mass. After the war Helen and Tom settled in Marblehead and in time were joined by their children Merriam M. “Merri” (Egan) Morong and Thomas D. “Tommy” Egan. Helen was predeceased by husband Tom in 1976 and daughter Merri in 2009, and is survived by her son Tom and his wife Mary Krull of Marblehead MA, grandchildren Nate Morong and his wife Irene of Colorado Springs CO, Sydney Egan of East Boston MA, Hannah (Morong) Bellah and her husband Doug of Michigan, Augustus “Gus” Egan of Medford MA and great grandchildren Adair and Valkyrie Bellah of Michigan. Helen found great satisfaction in working with her hands, both through her art and doing home improvement projects on the several properties she owned around Marblehead. She loved gardening and her transformation of her craggy, ledge filled yard on Chestnut St. into a showplace garden was a highlight of the Shipyard neighborhood. She was an avid traveler, vacationing around the US, Europe and Hong Kong. Helen and husband Tom were active in Lightning Class sailboat racing. She was a member of a candlepin bowling league and was an avid golfer. She was formerly active in St. Michael’s Episcopal Church of Marblehead and gave generously of her time to many volunteer causes and organizations including the Marblehead Food Pantry and the Marblehead Female Humane Society where she served on the board for many years. In her later years she gradually lost her eyesight to macular degeneration, a cruel irony for and artist, but greatly helped by assistance and tools from organizations like the Mass Commission for the Blind, The Carroll Center for the Blind and the Perkins Library without whose talking books her later life would have been far less fulfilling. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a celebration of Helen’s life will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Essex County Hunger Relief, the Marblehead Female Humane Society, The Carroll Center for the Blind or the Perkins Library. To share a memory or offer online condolences to the family, please visit eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com

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Helen Merriam Egan

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