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Helen Charnes Schaefer Print E-mail

Helen Charnes Schaefer died at the age of 96, Sunday April 15, 2018, at Kendal of Oberlin surrounded by her family. Helen was born July 21, 1921, in Wall, Pennsylvania. Helen was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She graduated from Wilmerding High School in 1939 as class valedictorian. However, she was unable to attend college at that time.

Helen married Al Charnes in 1942. She then moved to Elyria where she lived until 2014 at which time she moved to Kendal. Al die in 1988. Helen is survived by their four children: Deborah (William) Rossi of Melrose, Florida; David (Molly) Charnes of Richmond, Virginia; Rebecca (Scott) Serazin of Elyria, Ohio; and Lorrie Charnes (Ken Harnak) of Indian Land, South Carolina.

Helen married Dr. Franklin Schaefer in 1994. Dr. Schaefer died in 2004. She is survived by his three children: Kenneth (Lynn) Schaefer of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Judith (Gregory) Baran of Sanibel, Florida; and Virginia Schaefer of Arlington, Massachusetts. After having four children Helen started college at Kent State University. Helen earned a B.A.; Master of Education and an Educational Specialist Degree.

Helen was an exemplary educator. She worked for the Elyria City Schools for 27 years, first as a classroom teacher at Spring Valley Elementary and then Principal at Crestwood Elementary Helen was the recipient of the Master Teacher Award from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. This prestigious prize came with a grant to her school for a half years’ salary and a stipend that allowed her travel to Denmark in 1969 to the International Reading Association Annual Conference.

Helen also received an award from the Kazanjian Economic Foundation. Her students made and sold candy to the community that financed a class trip to Greenfield Village Michigan. The Elyria Schools and Friends Alumni Association honored Helen as a Distinguished Staff Member in 2002.

Helen enjoyed over seas travelling. She visited 43 countries on six different continents. She always said that she was leaving Antarctica to one of her grandchildren. Helen is survived by six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Helen was preceded in death by her father Andrew Betz and mother Mary Nemyo Betz; brothers, Michael Betz, George Betz; sisters, Ann Betz Walko and Mary Betz Smaligo. She is survived by her sister Sue Betz Halavan of Arizona.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Community Foundation of Lorain County in Honor of Helen Charnes Schaefer.

Friend will be received on Friday, April 20, 2018 at the Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home, 327 Cleveland Street, Elyria, Ohio from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. Closing prayers will be on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in the funeral home at 10:30 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 AM at St. Jude Church, 590 Poplar Street, Elyria, Ohio with the Reverend Father Frank P. Kosem, Pastor, officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary Cemetery, Elyria, Ohio.

» 9 Condolences and Greetings
Theresa ( Aulisio) Mazur
sent Saturday, 28 April 2018 12:34
My deepest sympathy to the Charnes'sfamily. My mother and aunt admired her very much and thought very highly of her and all of her accomplishments. I remember her as a very classy lady. God bless and comfort you all.
John Hines
sent Tuesday, 24 April 2018 08:59
It is with great sadness today I learned of Helen's passing! My condolences to the Charnes family! What a great individual Helen was! Such a fascinating and inspirational life she lived! I knew the Charnes family from my high school years at Elyria Catholic. Helen was Principle at Crestwood Elementary School when I worked for the Elyria Parks and Recreation Department. What a fascinating life she lived! She is inspirational! May she rest in peace and be blessed by God for living the exceptional life she did! It was my honor to have known her! She may have forgotten some of us through the years but when you met Helen knowing her was for the rest of your life! What a great lady she was! The world is somehow less without her!
MaryLou (Decker) Doebele
sent Sunday, 22 April 2018 16:49
When I was first asked the proverbial question: Who was your favorite teacher? my answer was instantly my 5th grade teacher at Spring Valley School, Mrs. Charnes. She was the first person who saw something in me no one else did. She was the best teacher and such an amazing encourager. Over the years I have run into her and was so pleased to be able to tell her how much she meant to me and how she positively influenced my life and gave me a healthy perspective of myself that I did not receive in my home growing up. Mrs. Charnes you will be greatly missed.
Cindy DeFilippo
sent Saturday, 21 April 2018 03:59
So sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. She was always a very kind and sweet lady. Sending hugs and love to you all.
Thomas E. Betz
sent Friday, 20 April 2018 10:35
I always remember Aunt Helen as someone with a very sweet spirit. I pray the Lord will give comfort and encouragement in the days ahead. God Bless
Judy Ledyard
sent Thursday, 19 April 2018 11:19
I had the great pleasure of having the Charnes family as neighbors and childhood play mates. Mrs. Charnes was always an inspiration and a friend to many, both adults and children. Fortunately I got to visit with Mrs. Charnes at my mother's 90 birthday party in 2011. She looked amazing and still had great spirit and joie de vivre! You will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know you Mrs. Charnes! My heart goes out to your family. My sincerest sympathy to you all.
Kim Ach
sent Wednesday, 18 April 2018 12:49
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. May your memories comfort you. She was truly an inspirational woman. Kim Ach and Thomas Tracey
Tania Kegyes
sent Wednesday, 18 April 2018 07:50
Helen was such an inspirational woman personally and professionally. My thoughts and prayers are sent to her family. She truly left an amazing legacy!!
Kathie Machock
sent Wednesday, 18 April 2018 05:48
Lorrie, So sorry to hear your about your Mom. She was so kind and gentle. I had many great times at your house. Hugs to you and all your family.
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