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Helen R. Bearden

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ARLINGTON -- Mrs. Helen Rudd Bearden, a lifelong resident of Arlington, died on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 at the Centers For Living and Rehabilitation in Bennington. She had fought a courageous battle with her third bout of cancer. The date of her death had a special significance to her, as it marked the fifth anniversary of the death of her beloved granddaughter, Lisa Ellen Bearden. Now they are reunited in an eternal peace.

Mrs. Bearden was born in Arlington on June 14, 1922 as the eldest child of the late Leland and Hazel (Bromley) Rudd. She graduated from Arlington Memorial High School, Class of 1940. She followed her desire in her heart to help others by entering nursing training. She graduated as a registered nurse from the House of Mercy Hospital in Pittsfield, Mass. Helen served her country and the wounded from World War II as a 1st lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps attached to the Air Force. She received the American Campaign medal and the World War II Victory medal.

One of the wounded she treated, Robert Whitman, honored her with a plaque at the Women’s Military Memorial in Washington, D.C. After her military service she returned to Vermont and held a number of nursing positions, including teaching at the former Putnam Memorial Hospital in Bennington. In 1963 she went to work for the Union Carbide Corp. as their industrial nurse, retiring from there in 1985. She was active in the Vermont Nurses Association and a past president on the Bennington County Chapter. She was very proud of her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution where she was a past regent of the Bennington chapter. She was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 69 of Arlington. Helen’s accomplishments were recognized in the Who’s Who of American Women. Helen enjoyed her retirement years and kept busy with many trips, both locally and abroad. Some of her most enjoyable memories were with her various retirement groups, luncheon parties and get-togethers with her high school classmates.

She was married to the late Harlie Bearden in February 1947 and often flew practice runs with him in his military trainer.

She is survived by her son and daughter in law, John and Sherry Bearden of Ft. Myers, Fla. and Essex. She leaves a number of nieces and nephews who loved her dearly. These are the children of her predeceased siblings: Nelson Rudd, James Rudd and Anna Rudd Hawley.

She is also survived by her aunt and uncle, Maynard and Florence Grout, as well as numerous cousins.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 11 a.m. at The Federated Church of East Arlington with the Rev. Jordan Dickinson officiating. Burial will follow in the family lot in Evergreen Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, Route 7A, Arlington on Friday, April 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. when the family will be present. Memorial gifts may be made to the Vermont Chapter of the American Cancer Society in care of the Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 528, Arlington, VT 05250.
Published in Bennington Banner on Apr. 22, 2004
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