Francine Helen Snyder Jarrett, 94, of Southbury, CT, died peacefully in her home, surrounded by loved ones with her in person and in spirit. Helen was born July 23, 1928 in Atlanta, GA. the daughter of Albert Lee Snyder of Navesink, NJ and Myrtle Edith Tatum of Alpharetta, GA. She had two sisters, both now deceased, Patricia and Dorothy.
Helen was the widow of William S. Jarrett. Helen and Bill met as children in West Caldwell, NJ and were married for 63 years until Bill passed away in 2014. Helen is survived by their three sons and their spouses. William, Jr. and Nancy of Eden Prairie, MN; Peter and Wendy of Corte Madera, CA; and Andrew of San Diego, CA. Helen also is survived by her six grandchildren, Emily, Benjamin, Daniel, Timothy, David, and Kaarina and her two great granddaughters, Clare and Ayla. Helen also is survived by numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
During the Depression, Helen’s family made a transformational move from the rural outskirts of Atlanta, GA to the New York City suburb of West Caldwell, NJ to be close to her father’s family. There, Helen lost her southern accent and graduated from James Caldwell High School – a year behind her future husband Bill. After graduating from the Stenotype Institute School of Business (in Manhattan), Helen got her first job – as a secretary in the Advertising Department of The New Yorker magazine. In her spare time, Helen did some modeling and developed her artistic skills in drawing and painting. After seven years at her beloved New Yorker, where she rose to become the Secretary to the Advertising Director, she left the magazine to give birth to her first son, William Jr., in 1955. Thus began Helen’s most rewarding role as a stay-at-home mother in raising her three sons.
As a result of Bill’s career (book publishing) choices, Helen raised her sons in a variety of cities and towns, including New York City; Pleasantville, NY (a suburb of NYC); Scituate, MA (a suburb of Boston); Barrington, IL (a suburb of Chicago); and Westport, CT (a suburb NYC). With her sparkle, charm, and caring nature, Helen adapted well to these diverse settings and made lifelong friends wherever she lived. In Barrington, Helen volunteered as a Teacher’s Assistant at an elementary school, where she especially enjoyed teaching the kindergarteners and first-graders how to jump rope (Double Dutch) and tap dance.
After the family moved to Westport, CT, Helen returned to the business world, eventually joining GE as a secretary at Corporate Headquarters in Fairfield, CT. For approximately 20 years she worked in various positions including as an Executive Secretary in the office of the Vice Chairman of the Board of GE. Helen spent her final years working for the Medical Group, which was focused on providing healthcare services to the employees at GE Headquarters. Helen very much enjoyed this job – perhaps more so than any of her other jobs in the corporate world. After retiring from GE, Helen worked with Bill out of their home in Newtown, CT, mostly typing books that Bill edited. After Bill retired, in 2002, Bill and Helen made their final move – to Heritage Village in Southbury, CT.
Bill and Helen were active members of the Heritage Village community. Most notably, Helen, with Bill were featured on Heritage Village’s TV station where they discussed recent and planned events. Helen served as the president of her cluster of condos, Condo 14. She also enjoyed using the facilities and participating in the activities of Heritage Village, including concerts (in which her husband often participated as a member of the choral group), walks around the pond with Bill, exercising, swimming, and even some tap-dancing lessons (which she first learned as a child). In her spare time, she became an accomplished quilter, creating beautiful works that were cherished and used by many loved ones.
Helen spent the final fifteen years of Bill’s life taking increasing care of him as he succumbed to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Her love, support, and sacrifice during this challenging stage of their married life were truly remarkable and demonstrated the strength she derived from her love of her family.
Helen's ashes will be laid next to Bill’s in Lee, MA. A gathering of family and friends is planned for April 15, 2023, 2:00 P.M. at Heritage Hotel, Southbury. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation, in Helen's memory, to a charity of your choice.
For friends of Helen who would like to attend her Celebration of Life ceremony, please let Helen’s son Bill know at firstname.lastname@example.org. To leave an online condolence please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com
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