All friends and family of Helen Hale and the Healing Arts Center are invited to gather and remember Helen at her upcoming memorial. This special gathering, honoring Helen’s life, will take place at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Hall on Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m., with a potluck to follow.
Helen Lucile Hale was born on Sept. 5, 1952 in Great Falls, S.C. to Robert Lois Hale of Commerce, Texas and Jimmye Britton Hale of Great Falls, S.C. “Cile”, as her family knew her, was raised as a traditional, conservative, Southern girl. Helen resisted this convention from an early age, while remaining close and loving with her mother. She attended Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C. and received her fine arts degree in 1976.
Always the caregiver, Helen later decided on a career shift and attended nursing school at Texas Tech University. She graduated in the early eighties and worked as a traveling nurse in Florida, Texas and Colorado. Leaving her home and family to follow her dreams was unheard of in her upbringing, demonstrating the quiet courage innate to Helen. During the 80s and 90s, Helen worked closely with critically ill patients, often those dying from the devastating effects of the AIDS virus. Eventually she moved to Seattle and was employed as a critical care nurse at Virginia Mason Hospital. It was here that Helen met her “sister of choice,” Kathy.
Helen moved to Orcas Island in 1998 and it was here that she found her home. Helen joined the Healing Arts Center in 1999, offering intuitive readings through the Tarot deck. Her insight and ability in this arena is unmatched on Orcas to this day. Seeing this insight as a gift, Helen did not charge a set price for her work, but instead took donations based on ones ability to pay. Making herself at home, Helen quickly filled the shoes as head receptionist and eventually treasurer. Helen loved the work at the front desk. Her warm smile, big eyes, and soft glow are memorable impressions left on many who have graced the doors.
As friendly and openhearted as she was, many would be surprised to hear that Helen was agoraphobic. It was through her presence at the Healing Arts Center desk that she was able to therapeutically work on that piece of her life. Helen was often strong-willed, stubborn, and sassy, but had the knack for returning to her sunny side. She maintained this positive spirit and cheerful attitude throughout her time at the center, even as she underwent frequent chemotherapy, radiation, surgeries, and countless procedures.
Helen was well loved and cared for during the last three years of her life by her loving roommate and best friend, Sandy Holtman. Choosing to die in her home, Helen was watched over by loving friends. On May 13, 2013, Helen ended her long and courageous struggle with cancer and illness.
Helen has one surviving family member, her brother, Paul Hale. She is also survived by many friends and her family of choice.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be made to the Healing Arts Center.