Lebanon — Helen Mahoney Champe, 93, of West Town Street, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, at her home with her family by her side.
Helen was born Aug. 30, 1925, in Littleton, N.H., the daughter of the late Everett and Elizabeth “Jess” Willard Trousdale.
Helen Spencer Trousdale Mahoney Champe passed into eternal fellowship rejoining her twin sister, Ilona and joining her mother, Jess and father, Everett. Also welcoming her are husbands Joe and John, in addition to many dear friends and relatives.
In 2015, we were blessed and happy to commemorate Mom’s 90th birthday. We were all overjoyed to celebrate her life. Her brother, Bill, recited a poem and her children all spoke. Love filled the room.
Her friends were present, friendships acquired from nursing, neighbors from Ox Hill and Attawan, parishioners from Lee Methodist, St. Patrick’s and the Congregational Church of Lebanon, friends from Medical Auxiliary and the Bridge Club (we still hear the laughter), all friendships solid and lasting.
Plato wrote: “We are not here to get all we can out of life for ourselves, but to make other lives happy.” That she did! Her family was paramount. We were all exposed to art, books, music and learning. Education was highly valued. She followed her mother’s footsteps into nursing. Her brothers and sister went on to higher learning. Mom persisted with self-education. She was the stay-at-home mom. She literally became a woman of letters, thousands of them. We can still see her sitting at her desk, Sunday night, writing. We were all fortunate to be updated with her frequent communications.
Travel was part of our education, countries and cultures and indelible memories. If we chose, she encouraged and enjoyed our sports activities. Ellen was the most successful.
Family gatherings at holidays were hosted at Ox Hill and Attawan. Judy’s generosity has carried on the tradition.
Mom’s principles and moral compass were unwavering and she had her hands full with us!
She was not sectarian, just religious. Methodist, Catholic, Congregationalist — all the same. Law benefits from rules. Morals separate right from wrong. She didn’t need rules — she made them, all this with dignity and humility.
Mom had two lives. She was married to our father, Dr. Joe Mahoney for 49 years, raising our family, to become many families. After dad’s death, Helen was able to find a new life, a soulmate and renewed energy with John Champe. They were happily married for 20 years until John passed away in August. We were able to celebrate his life last month with mom, a heartfelt experience for all.
Helen leaves behind her children, Judy Snayd and her husband, Dr. Richard Snayd of Lebanon, Dr. James Mahoney and wife, Ruth, of Milton, Mass., Ellen Mahoney of Norwich, Margaret Mahoney and husband, Pat Kelly, of West Newbury, Mass., Tom Mahoney and wife, Barbara Phoenix, of Woodbridge, Robert Mahoney and partner, Colette Carter, of Lyme; 16 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren; stepdaughter, Suzanne Dobrowolsky and her two children and grandchildren. She is also survived by her dear brothers, Bill Trousdale and wife, Priscilla Meyer, of Middletown, John Trousdale and wife, Louise, of Massachusetts; and a loving extended family of cousins, nieces and nephews. Finally, we recognize Mom’s loyal longtime caretaker, friend and honorary sister, Emma Lah.
In addition to her parents, husbands, Joe and John, she was predeceased by her twin sister, Ilona Stanwood; her daughter-in-law, Sarah Russell; and stepson, Jeremy Champe.
Helen’s family was most important to her. She was a very altruistic person who volunteered with many organizations including Hospice, the Haitian Health Foundation, Headstart and at the Uncason-Thames Hospital.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, at the Church and Allen Funeral Home, 136 Sachem St., Norwich. A funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon, 588 Exeter Road, Lebanon. Burial will be private for the family.
Memorial donations in Helen’s memory may be made to the Haitian Health Foundation, 97 Sherman St., Norwich, CT 06360 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, CT Chapter, 225 North Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.
To leave a message of condolence for Helen’s family, please visit her memorial at www.churchandallen.com.