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Helen Seward Dallen
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Obituary for Helen Seward Dallen

Helen Kevan Seward Dallen (born Petersburg, VA 9-17-20) died in Sacramento, CA on March 30, 2018. Lovingly known to her grand and great-grandchildren as "Bammie," Helen declared, "Once a Virginian, always a Virginian!", no matter where she lived. Married to John Anthony Dallen (now deceased) for 67 years, she embodied the strength of a woman of her time, and together they embraced life through their retirement. A 1941 graduate in education (Home Economics and modern English) from Longwood College, she was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Alpha Phi Sigma (National Honorary Scholarship Fraternity), Alpha Kappa Gamma (national leadership society) and Vice President of her senior class. She worked as a dietician at Ft. Lee, VA where she met John who served in WWII as a "Hump Pilot," traversing the Himalayan Mountains between India and China. John and Helen were later invited to China for a ceremony honoring those pilots. She lived in Ohio for many years where she was recruited to teach. In qualifying for the Ohio teaching credential, it was noted that she had not studied Ohio history. Once she reminded the Board of Education that she had studied Virginia history and that Ohio was once a territory of Virginia, she was awarded her Ohio certification. Helen taught at Port Clinton High School for 25 years. She successfully motivated many as a teacher and as chairman of the English Department by insisting students receive a quality education in the English composition, English literature, reading, poetry and Greek mythology. Her constant philosophy was that with patience, humor, knowledge, and support for an individual's strengths, all students would succeed. To this day, during class reunions, students still share stories about Mom including her reference to the American Civil War as "the late unpleasantness." Many can still repeat some of the 300 lines of poetry memorized while attending her classes. Upon retirement, Helen and John moved to Florida where they pursued their passion of golf, bridge, arts and crafts and fulfilled their dream of travel. Travel included trips to Europe, Central and South American, the Caribbean and China. A highlight was as passengers on a Windjammer sailing ship throughout the Caribbean. Living on Lake Erie (Ohio), Helen and John spent summers sailing on the lake so this was a culmination of their sailing adventures. Another passion was researching the English and Scottish heritage of her family including genealogy of the Seward, Collier, Davis (DAR Patriot), McMillan, Boisseau, Baldwin, Powell, and Wooten (DAR Patriot) connections resulting in a comprehensive book of genealogy of her family dating back to the 1630s. Family stories were also included in her book, "As I Remember." Helen and John eventually moved to Sacramento to join their children who lived there at the time. Helen announced, "The Queen Doesn't Cook," a phrase still repeated by all family members. She was true to her word. While in Sacramento, Helen volunteered in the library of Olive Grove Elementary School and enjoyed being surrounded by her three children, 7 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Helen, with her passion for family and sense of humor, will be missed. She is survived by her daughters, Jane (Jim) Hagedorn, in Sacramento; Peggy (Curt) Mekemson, in Oregon; her son, John (Frances) Dallen, in Texas; and her sister, Peggy Miles, in Ohio.


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