Helene Trescony Frakes
June 2, 1948 – January 6, 2021
On January 6, 2021, Helene Trescony Frakes passed away quietly at home in San Francisco after surviving cancer for nearly four years. Helene was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother who is survived by her husband Randall, two sons Anthony and Vincent and their families, consisting of four granddaughters (Emily, Allison, Emma and Claire). She is also survived by her brother Paul.
Helene, born in Berkeley and the daughter of Helen and Louis Trescony, was a fifth generation Californian, descended from early San Francisco pioneers and a Monterey County ranching family. She took her California heritage seriously and would proudly share her knowledge with friends, family and visitors to the city as a San Francisco City Guide, leading tours of historic Market Street. At various times she was also a member of the Society of California Pioneers, the San Francisco Junior League and the American Association of University Women. While raising her children in Orinda and also being civic minded, she served as an aide to the County Supervisor for the Lamorinda area and was a member of the Contra Costa County Planning Commission as well as its chairperson. Helene was raised in Orinda and was in the first graduating class at Campolindo High School. She was an alumnus of Santa Clara University where she earned a bachelor's degree in history and met her future husband to whom she was married for over 51 years.
In her spare time Helene loved to travel, enjoying frequent international trips with her husband. She especially loved spending time at the family log home in Twin Lakes in the Eastern Sierra, near Yosemite. During summers there, she volunteered and gave daily tours of the stamp mill at Bodie State Historic Park, emphasizing the mining district's connection to San Francisco.
Helene's enthusiasm for history and love of life will be missed by all who knew her. A memorial will be held at a future date when it is possible for all who loved her to gather safely.
Published by San Francisco Chronicle from Jan. 29 to Feb. 7, 2021.