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Helen Bray-Garretson

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Helen Bray-Garretson 1952-2012 After contending with Inflammatory Breast Cancer since 2001, Helen Bray-Garretson of Sheffield, Mass., passed away on July 13, 2012. She never let that cancer define her, but lived her life to the fullest with enthusiasm, grace, dignity, and courage. Born in Fitchburg, Mass., on January 23, 1952, Helen was the youngest of four children born to Hedley Bray, former mayor of the city, and Evelyn Ball, active member of the Church of the Nazarene. Brilliant and accomplished, Helen graduated first in her class from Fitchburg High School in 1970; from Harvard University with a B.S. in 1975; and from Boston University with a PhD in clinical psychology in 1985. Helen was a child psychologist who worked in private practice at the Northwest Center and at Hillcrest Education Center, a residential center for children with severe emotional and behavioral problems. She was a nationally recognized expert in autism and sexually deviant behavior in youth offenders. Also involved in her community, Helen was an active member of Saint James Episcopal Church in Great Barrington, a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Berkshire Children's chorus, and on the advisory council for the Flying Cloud Institute. One of Helen's greatest joys was travelling and over her life she travelled the world always ready for a new experience or adventure. She loved the beach and ocean - her spiritual home - which gave her strength, peace, and comfort throughout her life. She is survived by daughters Julia of Noti, Oregon and Eleanor of Portland, Oregon; soul-mate and caregiver Cheryl Murray of Pittsfield; sister Ruth Kilpatrick of Laurel, Md.; brother Everett "Buzzy" Bray of Pelham, Mass.; her husband Frank Garretson of Sheffield, Mass.; many cherished nieces and nephews; and her 19 year old cat Chloe. She was predeceased by her sister Margaret "Peg" Bowen. She also is survived by many, many dear friends. FUNERAL NOTICE: A service celebrating the life of the late Helen Bray-Garretson will be held Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the Old Parish Church on Main Street in Sheffield, conducted by Rev. Frances Hills. The family will receive friends Monday, July 16, 2012 from 5pm until 8pm at FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME in Great Barrington. In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation through FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Remembrances may be sent to the family through www.finnertyandstevens.com

Published in The Berkshire Eagle on July 15, 2012
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