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Helen Overhardt

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Helen Overhardt Obituary
Helen H. Overhardt passed in Denver, Colorado on January 31, 2014. Helen was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 22, 1936 and lived most of her life in Birmingham, Michigan. Helen was a True Pioneer of her generation graduating from Stephens College in Missouri and the University of Michigan with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Helen was the first female engineer to work in the automobile industry for General Motors Corporation while also serving as an automotive fashion model. As a Pioneer of her time, Helen was featured in Look Magazine. She earned a Masters in Economics and Business and a Masters in English from Oakland University, as well as a Masters in Theology from the University of Denver. Helen's father, Ralph Reeves, was her greatest influence and mentor in pursuing a career in innovation as he was a member of the Packard Motor Company Executive Group and after World War II founded the Globe Gear Company, an auto and airplane supply firm in Royal Oak, Michigan. In between earning degrees, Helen married Walter F. Overhardt whom she met at a Corvette Club meeting. She is survived by her children Erich Overhardt, Ellison Overhardt, and Kurt Overhardt, as well as her grandchildren Vaiare and Alexander Overhardt. Helen is also survived by her brother Louis Reeves; and her niece Jennifer Reeves, and nephews George and Skyler Reeves. She was predeceased by her parents Ralph and Hallie Reeves, and her brother George Reeves. After raising a family, Helen worked for several years as a technical writer and mechanical engineer in the automotive industry on projects for companies around the world including Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Chrysler Motor Company, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Fiat. The numerous projects Helen contributed to include one of the first electrical cars with a zinc-chloride battery, robotic engine assembly lines, one of the first U.S. automobile assembly lines in China, and several production line operational manuals. Her final projects were for Comau USA where she completed projects in Italy, Mexico, Canada, China, and the United States. She was a proud worker and a true perfectionist. Helen was also a ballet dancer into early adulthood. She was a big supporter of the arts, opera, symphony, and history. She traveled extensively throughout the world and loved to read about world history and theology. Up until her passing, Helen was committed to watching her grandchildren succeed in sports. She was a Super Fan of the Cherry Creek High School State Champion Girls Lacrosse Team, which her granddaughter Vaiare played, as well as the Colorado Thunderbirds U16 Hockey Team, which her grandson, Alexander, serves as the Captain. Helen was a true Renaissance Womanshe will be greatly missed by her Family and Friends including her dog, Tanner. A Memorial Service will be held at Horan & McConaty on 1091 S. Colorado Boulevard, Denver, Colorado on Thursday February 6, 2014 at 11am. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to ASPCA, aspca.org.
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Published in Denver Post on Feb. 5, 2014
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