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Helen Van Fleet

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Helen Van Fleet Notice

Helen Madden Van Fleet, a 29-year employee of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, died on March 29th in St. Michael's, MD after a brief battle with a renal cancer. Always busy and involved, Mrs. Van Fleet, although officially retired in 2015, continued to volunteer at various functions at the Museum until shortly before her final stages of illness. Helen was dedicated to the St. Michael's community. She served on the Tourism Board, Parks and Recreation, and the Waterways Commission for the Town of St. Michaels. Her volunteer work over the years included Talbot Hospice, the Waterfowl Festival, St. Michaels Business Association, St. Michaels Community Center, St. Michaels Volunteer Fire Department, the Miles River Yacht Club, Habitat for Humanity of Talbot County, Christmas in St. Michael's, St. Michael's Women's Club, and the St. Michaels Planning Commission and its Board of Appeals. In January, she re-joined the board of the St. Michaels Community Center. She was a colorful and favorite figure in several annual St. Michaels parades as a Christmas Clown, Halloween Witch, Holiday Elf and the Irish Mourner. Helen was a "go to" volunteer in the community, known and loved by many for her hardworking, no-nonsense but gregarious nature, "She sees work to be done, and she does it." Helen was 79 and had lived in St. Michaels since 1985. She was born in the District of Columbia and a graduate of Notre Dame Academy in Washington DC. Mrs. Van Fleet was also the owner/operator of The Fleet's Inn in St. Michaels. Her husband, Robert Van Fleet, died in 1993. She was also preceded in death by her parents, James and Melissa Madden and is survived by her three loving children, Lee Bates and her husband Aulby of St. Michaels, Tracey Nagle and her husband Tom of Gaithersburg, MD and Mark Van Fleet and his wife Kelly of Ellicott City, MD and by eight grandchildren Jeremy, Kate, Bridget, Eleanor, Jack, Robert, Mason and Hannah. A memorial service will be held on April 14th at 11:00 A.M. at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, in St. Michaels, MD. In lieu of flowers the family suggests that contributions be made to the Chesapeake Maritime Museum or the St. Michael's Community Center.
Published in Baltimore Sun on Apr. 2, 2016
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