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Helen Rollow O'Mara


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Helen Rollow O'Mara Obituary
September 8, 1929 - November 29, 2017 Helen passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 29, 2017, just two months into her 88th year. Fiercely independent, strong, kind, caring, and funny are just some of the words that have been used to describe Helen throughout her life. She was born in Los Angeles to James Grady and Ethel Fair Rollow; raised in Los Angeles, San Marino and South Pasadena, a graduate of both San Marino and South Pasadena schools. As a child, Helen enjoyed braving the waves in Long Beach, sledding at Mt. Baldy and roller-skating up and down what she called the "big hills" of 3rd Street in Los Angeles. Helen was modest about her accomplishments, which included undergraduate degrees from Stephens College in Missouri and USC, a master's degree in Mathematics from UCLA and a doctorate degree in Urban Climatology from USC. She worked for RAND Corporation in the 1950s and 1960s at a time when satellite technology was in its infancy. Helen was a proud member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and maintained friendships with her sorority sisters throughout her life. Helen never met a slide rule she couldn't handle, a crossword puzzle she couldn't conquer, or a garden she couldn't whip into shape. She was a devoted supporter of animal rights and nature conservancy, and enjoyed travelling throughout Europe and across the United States. Later in life, Helen enjoyed an evening martini with her husband on the deck of her home, a dog at her side, classical music in the background, overlooking the hills of the Sonoma Valley. Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Douglas Rollow; and her first husband, George Eugene O'Mara. She is survived by her second husband, Duane Larson; her daughter and son-in law, Ann O'Mara and Jimmy Lee, and granddaughter, Sophia Lee; stepson and daughter-in-law Rick and Mary Larson, and grandchildren, Katarina and Gunnar Larson. Although in failing health, Helen maintained a devilish twinkle in her eye until the end. She will be deeply missed by her loved ones. The family wishes to thank the devoted and tireless caretakers at Regency Park Astoria, Pasadena, and Accurate Hospice. Donations may be made in Helen's honor to: The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Federation or the Sonoma Land Trust.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 6, 2018
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