Helen Patricia See


Helen Patricia See (née Garlitz), 80, of Sun City, Arizona, passed away peacefully on June 20, 2013 surrounded by loved ones. She will be deeply missed by her husband, Paul, with whom she spent 65 years; her daughters, Patty and Beverly; her sister, June; her grandchildren, Kelly, Reuben, Sarah, Jacob, and Leah; her daughter-in-law, Janice; and numerous extended family members and friends whom she cherished. She is preceded in death by her beloved son, Paul Jr., her parents, and her siblings, Marie, Edna, Edgar, Paul, and John. Helen was born in Ambridge, Pennsylvania to Edgar and Agnes Garlitz on July 14, 1932. Everyone who came into contact with Helen saw that she was a force of nature with seemingly boundless energy, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. As well as spending the first part of her adult life as a devoted wife and mother, Girl Scout, and brownie leader, she spent ten years as a member of New Tribes Mission where she completed training for missionary work in Paraguay. At the age of forty, she began working full time as a data operator at Gibbs in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and like everything else in her life, was very accomplished at her job. She eventually left Gibbs to follow her lifelong dream of being a nurse. She started as a CNA, worked herself up to an LPN degree (taking classes with her youngest daughter, Beverly, who also became a nurse), and soon after obtained an RN degree. She worked in a variety of nursing settings: a county home, a skilled nursing facility, long term care, Alzheimer’s Unit, home health, hospice, and setting up med-i-sets. Over her nursing career, countless doctors, coworkers, and patients expressed their appreciation for Helen’s diligence and compassion. She felt that her calling as a nurse was a profound experience and worked happily and tirelessly until she was injured on the job at the age of 78. Helen was extremely social and outgoing, and generously shared her pleasant disposition with others. She loved to laugh and had a beautiful smile that lit up the room. She was an intensely spiritual woman, who took pleasure in reading the Bible and was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Sun City. In addition, Helen treasured her relationships with her family and loved learning about genealogy. She was fascinated by different cultures, and she followed current events and thought deeply about the issues. Helen was also an impressive cook, a master quilter and sewer, a gifted beaded jewelry maker, a talented interior designer, and an accomplished cake decorator. She loved collecting antiques, teapots, and glass from the depression era. When not working overtime or pursuing one of her many artistic hobbies with enthusiasm, Helen could be found reading bone-chilling international mystery/spy novels, shopping at Joann’s, or discovering hidden treasures at yard sales. In short, Helen was a true original who pursued life with vigor. Remembering her cheerful spirit, sharp mind, and dynamic nature will continue to inspire us all.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Barbara Brower

    Thank you for the obituary, it really tells Helen’s story. I already miss her.She was such a hard worker and loved by all.

  2. Leah Liron

    Helen was a wonderful grandmother. She was very inspiring and super inspiration, I will love to be just like her when I grow up. She was an awesome grandma because she cooked for me when she knew I was coming and most importantly she loved me unconditionally. She has had it rough but she is one tough nut to crack she’s a fighter not only for her but everyone else around her. Whenever she is in the same room as me I am touch with passion love and a cheery positive attitude. I love her to piece no matter what. She was number 1 to me. But she’s in a better place.

  3. Sarah Liron

    The first time I saw grandma she worked hard to make us good food. Burger, salad and spaghetti. She was trying to make us feel comfortable and it worked. She saw that I was good with my hands and bought me a sewing machine.A real one. Just for me. She said I had talent and could maybe grow up to be a designer and I hadn’t thought about it until then but realize more and more she was right. She sent us jewelry and showed us how to bead. She made us some beautiful quilts .I will keep them all my life and then pass them on to my daughters. Mostly, grandma See was a long distance grandma but she was the best one ever at it.

  4. Reuben

    I am mostly sad because I didn’t get to see grandma before she died. That is my saddest part.

    She made us really good cookies. I wish there was a way we could get her back.

  5. Patricia Brown

    I met Helen in Arizona through my sister-in-law Millie Brown. We had so many wonderful times together. She was such a loving and cheerful friend. We talked a lot about using our embroidery machines. She had a large room to do all her crafts in. She enjoyed her quilts and embroidery machine. I will always have wonderful memories of Helen.

  6. Cathy Lynn Brown Forcino

    This beautiful lady was my mother’s best friend long before I even came along. It always seemed like they did everything together – even having children at the same time! They shared so many interests and no matter where they lived, they were the purest example of Best Friends Forever. She was a beautiful spirit and the world will miss her.

  7. Patty

    master quilter, avid beader, superb seamstress, classy dresser and seasoned decorator with an incredible sense of style. Tenacious, compassionate, intelligent, caring, warm and strong, I was blessed to have her as my mother.

    I miss you, mom. I love you so much, mom

    You are in my heart forever.

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