Portland- Helen French Anderson, 77, passed away peacefully on September 6, 2019 at her home in Portland ending her battle with ovarian cancer. She was born in Englewood, New Jersey to Wesley and Barbara French, but adopted Portland as her home in 2005.
She grew up in Haworth, NJ. After graduating high school she attended Carleton College in Northfield, MN where she received her BA in Mathematics in 1963. She worked for many years in software development; most notably at AT&T in New York, and Insurance Systems Inc and Fidelity Investments in Massachusetts where she lived and raised her family. During her lifetime Helen traveled widely in both the United States and Europe. She was extremely active and was often seen going on walks in her neighborhood with her dogs, Pumbaa and Patches, picking up pieces of trash by the side of the road. She was a devoted advocate for the environment, working tirelessly to leave the world a better place for future generations attending rallies in both Portland and Washington, DC.
While living in Portland, Helen volunteered at numerous places including the Portland Observatory, Portland Pollinator Partnership, Portland Trails, Friends of Casco Bay, and served as a delegate to the Maine Democratic State Convention in 2008 and 2012. Helen especially enjoyed volunteering at the Iris Network for the Blind where she was a cherished volunteer supporting grateful, blind residents of Iris Park Apartments in Portland, ME. She was voted “Volunteer of the Year” on more than one occasion, most recently this August. Helen set up a Transportation Fund to allow the sight-impaired and the blind to travel by taxi to run errands and experience some independence.
Helen is survived by her daughters, Vicki Anderson of Budapest, Hungary and Karlene Drake of Westfield, Indiana; her granddaughters Tabitha and Hannah Drake of Westfield, Indiana; and her sister Margaret Gardner of Providence, Rhode Island.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 10:00 AM at A.T. Hutchins, 660 Brighton Ave, Portland, ME 04102. A private burial will follow in Damariscotta, Maine.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to:
The Iris Network for the Blind IPA Transportation Fund (In memory of Helen Anderson)
189 Park Ave
Portland, Me 04102
To send flowers to Helen's family, please visit our floral section.