Helen Leavy

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Helen P. Leavy

Helen Pendleton Leavy died at home in Albuquerque on Tuesday morning, March 13, 2018. Her husband of over 30 years, Brian Leavy, friends, and their devoted canine companion, Maggie, were with her.

Helen's academic career was extensive; she graduated from Catawba College, earned a master's degree in audiology (UT) and a doctorate in speech pathology (UVA) prior to teaching at Radford University. After deciding to become a nurse, she received her BSN at George Mason University and began her nursing career in New Mexico, later earning an MS in nursing at the University of Phoenix. She later taught nursing at several colleges here in Albuquerque.

Her career of over 30 years at the University of New Mexico Hospital focused on Pediatrics. Helen was affectionately known as "Wheels" to her nursing friends and coworkers after a doctor observed her energetic approach to her work in the Pediatric ER and said "You are hell on wheels!" Helen had planned to retire at the end of February, and so at her husband's request her friends did not hold a memorial service, but transformed a planned retirement party into a celebration of her life.

She was a passionate knitter, an accomplished musician, a talented watercolorist, an ardent outdoorswoman, and much more. She was a member of the NM Disaster Medical Assistance Team, NM Urban Search and Rescue, and was active with the NRA's "Eddie Eagle" GunSafe Program for


No one could say more about Helen than her coworkers,

students, and friends. This is typical of the comments made on Facebook: "You Helen, have touched so many hearts from your patients to your students and coworkers. I know I am so honored and thankful to have known and learned from you and even though we may have shed some tears tonight we know the best way to honor you is by using the wealth of knowledge and caring touch you taught us, hug those little angels we have lost over the years and know that we will never stop honoring you down here with every patient we touch."

In addition to her husband and sisters, she is survived by three nieces and many friends. Brian said that "Helen was the finest person I have ever known, an amazing woman, and the love of my life. She made me a better person and the world a better

place." One of her nieces said simply, "We will miss her." Indeed, the world will miss her.

Memorial donations may be made to Hopeworks, PO. Box 27258, Albuquerque, NM 87125 (www.hopeworksnm.org) or Dogs for Better Lives, 10175 Wheeler Road, Central Point, OR 97502 (www.dogsforbetterlives.org, and at Helen's request, you may also donate blood.

Published in Albuquerque Journal on Apr. 8, 2018