Newfane - Beloved mother and sister, Helen Louise Gammon, 67, of Newfane, passed away on February 21, 2019 in Brattleboro after a period of declining health. She was born in Brattleboro on June 14, 1951, the daughter of the late Joyce and Percy A. Sprague.
Helen loved animals, especially her dogs, playing cards, was an avid reader and loved watching movies. She also enjoyed antiquing, genealogy, and politics, and was always up for a good political debate. She loved the town of Newfane and enjoyed participating in civic duties which included serving as Treasurer for several years.
As a young girl, Helen attended elementary schools in Greenfield, MA, Townshend, VT and finally Newfane, VT, which is where she made her home for the next 60 years. She graduated from Brattleboro Union High School, and later received her Associate of Arts degree from Vermont Technical College, focusing on business and accounting at both.
Her first job as a teenager was working for the Chardain family as a hostess at the Newfane Inn and then later followed them to the Four Columns Inn. She admired the family and had the opportunity to meet many people there, including; the Queen Mother, John Kenneth Galbraith and Henry Kissinger. Shortly after, she embarked on her career as a Legal Secretary for Ralph Chapman, Esq. in Brattleboro. She worked for him for several years while Ralph served as a mentor and friend. She continued to build her career by becoming a paralegal and continued achieving success at various employers over the years including, the Brattleboro Police Dept., Janos Technology, and became close friends with the Esmay’s while working at E.G. Zac’s.
Eventually, Helen opened her own successful business, West River Secretarial & Business Services. She later opened a storefront in Brattleboro called the West River Vintage Shop. This developed into a thriving online store, specializing in selling books and vintage items to collectors all over the world. Being a Sprague girl at heart, she enjoyed following the family tradition of buying, selling and collecting antiques, as well as vintage items and books.
Helen was a curious and intelligent woman who valued knowledge and her family. That sparked her interest in genealogy, which became a passion. Upon researching her family’s genealogy, she discovered ancestors who aided in achieving American Independence during the Revolutionary War. With that heritage, she proudly joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. After completing her own family’s genealogy, she enthusiastically researched the genealogy of extended family and friends.
Helen also loved playing cards, and was a sharp poker player. She excelled at playing Bridge for many years with her friend and companion, Ed Goutas. Helen played at the highest level, both regionally and nationally, and achieved the honor of a Life Master ranking.
Helen was married to Gordon Gammon on October 7, 1967. While they were only married for a short time, this brought Helen her biggest love and joy in life, her son Sean. She gave birth to Sean at Grace Cottage Hospital in 1969. One of the things she treasured was their yearly trip to Hampton Beach, which became a family tradition. She also cherished their annual summer trip to the Weston Playhouse. Helen enjoyed her role as Grandmother and loved being Grammie Honey to Cooper, Tyler and Cameron. She would always make herself available to them, never missing a chance to visit them, or to attend their sports and school events. She especially loved visiting them at Halloween each year. Helen was very proud of her son and grandchildren and always glowed when showing pictures or sharing news about them to others. She also had a special love and bond with her daughter-in-law, Kim. The five of them were the light in her life.
Helen had an extraordinary love for her two dogs. Toots, who was nearly 16 when she passed, was her constant companion and buddy, who was more family than pet. Next came Pepper who won her heart. She loved his high energy, kisses, mischief making, and the fact that he was always trying to outsmart her.
Not only was Helen a terrific mother and grandmother, she was also a wonderful Sister. She was always welcoming, kind, generous, providing advice, a great listener and extremely loyal. Helen was very witty and enjoyed watching shows on history and politics, staying current on issues and engaging in lively conversations with friends and family. She always had strong opinions, but kept an open mind for new ideas.
Helen leaves behind and will be missed by her beloved son, Sean Gammon, daughter-in-law Kim (Farrand) and her grandsons, Cooper, Tyler, Cameron, of So. Burlington, VT; two dear sisters, Brenda Joyce Sprague-Kent (Chris Kent) Northampton, MA, and Susan Lee Fisher, (Paul Fisher),Hinsdale, NH, Niece , Jessica Galdamez, (Billy Galdamez) , Vernon, VT, Nephew, Jamie Kent (Bonnie St. Martin), Nashville, TN. And beloved Great Niece, Elliana Galdamez, as well as Step-Nieces and Nephews, Jenn Tuller (Troy Tuller), Heather Swan (Thad Swan), Andrew Fisher, and several step-great nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her dearest friend, Vicki Wood.
Helen was predeceased by her parents, Joyce (Fisher) and Percy A. Sprague.
A celebration of Helen’s life will be held from 5pm to 8pm on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, the first day of spring; at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 54 Chickering Drive, Brattleboro, VT. At 6pm the family will pay their respects to Helen with their thoughts and memories. The family encourages and welcomes all to attend this celebration of her life.
A private burial will be held at a later time.
Donations to honor Helen can be made to The Windham County Humane Society, 916 West River Dr. Brattleboro, VT.