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Helen Somple

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Helen Tommins Somple

1923-2010 BENNINGTON Helen Tommins Somple, passed away in Bennington, on Jan. 24, 2010, at the age of 86.

Born Sept. 6, 1923, in New York City to William and Frances Tommins, the oldest of eight children, Helen attended Corpus Christi Grammar School and graduated from Julia Richmond High School. During WWII, Helen worked for the Sperry Rand Co. building gyroscopes for Allied bombers.

Sophisticated and glamorous while still a teenager, she loved dancing to the big bands of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.

Helen went on to work as a dental assistant and, later, for the Charles W. Hoyt Advertising Agency where she met her husband, Joseph Somple. Helen and Joe were married in St. Bernard's Church on Mar. 28, 1953, and they moved into Apt. 1A in 780 Greenwich St. in the West Village. Helen would live at 780 for the next 55 years.

Very proud of being a homemaker, she returned to the workforce after her husband's death in 1971, and she retired from the Grand Masonic Lodge in 1991.

The quintessential New Yorker, she was well known and loved throughout Greenwich Village. The firemen, the mail carriers, the waitresses, the antique dealers, the restaurant owners, the crossing guards, the policemen, the shop owners, the doormen ....these were all her friends.

Devoted to her two sons, she was also a champion for anyone in a crisis or suffering injustice. Helen was happiest during the 20 summers spent at Beach Haven, N.J. with her family. Impatient, loving, demanding, protective, fearless, formidable, unforgettableHelen was all of these. She was a Mom, a Nana, the "Queen Mother", the "Grande Dame." She was a fighter. She was gorgeous.

During the past 20 years, Helen spent much of her time living in Vermont with her son, Jeff, and his family. She also made annual trips to California to visit with her son, Chris, and his family. She loved all her grandchildren and played an active and influential role in all their lives. The world will never see anyone like Helen Somple ever again.

Helen leaves her son, Chris and his wife, Miyuki, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; her son, Jeff and his wife, Mary Lou, of Manchester Ctr., Vt.; her twin granddaughters, Summer Pountney and her husband, Mike, and Kai Marcus and her husband, Bryan, of San Diego, Calif.; her granddaughter, Jessica Somple, of Las Vegas, Nev.; her granddaughter, Kristen Somple, of Manchester Ctr., Vt.; her grandson, Max Somple, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; her granddaughter Samantha Somple, of Manchester Ctr., Vt.; her sister, Mary O'Hara, of Hackensack, N.J.; her sister, Kay Forrest, of Cliffside Park, N.J.; her sister, Betsy O'Brien, of Center Sandwich, N.H. She also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, in-laws and countless friends.

In addition to her parents, Helen was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Somple; her brothers, Charles and Paul Tommins; and her sisters, Marion Halpert and Timmi Regan.

MEMORIAL NOTICE: A memorial and celebration of Helen's life will be held in New York City sometime this Spring.



Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 27, 2010
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