Helen Main

Helen Main

Peninsula - Helen K. Main, 94, of Hampton, was farewelled from this earthly life with friends celebrating her rebirth into Spirit on April 16, 2014.

She was predeceased by her loving husband, Murray E. Main Jr. and long-time personal friends Colonel John and Helen Morello.

She is survived by sister-in-law, Joyce Kiss of Pottstown, Pa.; nephew Randy Kiss and his children Stephanie McCollum and Jennifer Kiss of Pottstown, Pa.; niece Kandy Bell and her children Michael and Sue Ann Swininger of Pottstown, Pa. She will be especially missed by close friends who were like family to her that include Rick and Patty Johnson of Newport News, Va; Ralph, Michele, Hammel and Nicholas DeRosa of Williamsburg, Va.; John, Tami, Alaina, Anthony and Lexi Morello of Fredericksburg, Va.; Barbara Langille of Hampton, Va.; and Steve, Alesia, Hannah and Emma Longenderfer of Los Angeles, Calif.

A well-known Hampton merchant for over 40 years, she opened Main's Little House, a children's clothing store, in 1950 at the Wythe Shopping Center, and then followed it up with boundless energy and first-rate fashion at Main's Smart Shoppe. She loved helping her customers feel special and confident. She didn't just sell fashion; she encouraged women and built their self-esteem. It was her greatest pleasure to know that she helped a customer feel beautiful on the special occasions in their life. She left a legacy of style to the women of the Peninsula.

Exemplifying a life well-spent, Mrs. Main was generous to a fault and never turned down an opportunity to help a worthy cause in her community. She was most proud of establishing and serving as President of the Helen and Murray Main Foundation as a means to support her interest in causes that assist children, animals, and the elderly and to continue her and her husband's legacy of helping others. She enjoyed being involved with many organizations of interest to her that include membership in the Women's Club of Hampton, Exchange Club of Hampton, the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter 31, Peninsula Rose Society, Norfolk Camellia Society, Hampton History Museum, Hampton Yacht Club, Virginia Historical Society, Friends of the Hampton Library, and Republican Women's Club of Hampton. She was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church, Board member of Peninsula SPCA, and a Life member of The Association of Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.). She had a strong affection for gardening and love for ballroom dancing and would never turn away an invitation to an evening at the Officer's Club.

In her early years, she was an avid and noted motorcycle rider known as the "Pink Lady" and a founding member and the first treasurer of the Motor Maids of America. In her later years, she enjoyed hosting an annual gathering of the motorcycle ladies at her beloved Eastbrooke Estate in Mathews, Va. She was featured in The American Motorcycle Girls: A Photographic History of Early Women Motorcyclists. She especially enjoyed being a feature exhibit in the Springfield History Museum of Springfield, Mass. - home of the Indian Motorcycle.

She was an independent woman who lived her life with purpose, enthusiasm, and graciousness.

Guests will be received at R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, 245 South Armistead Avenue, Hampton, 757-723-3191 on Monday, April 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A funeral service celebrating her extraordinary life will be held on Tuesday, April 22 at 3 p.m at St. John's Episcopal Church in downtown Hampton with reception to follow.

Expressions of condolence may be made in the form of memorial contributions to: The Helen and Murray Main Foundation, 4022 Chesapeake Avenue, Hampton, VA 23669 or to the .

Funeral Home

245 S. ARMISTEAD AVE. Hampton, VA 23669-4100
(757) 723-3191

Published in The Virginian Pilot on Apr. 19, 2014