SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Helen Finney, my friend
By Julie Kay Smithson


April 14, 2008
Monday PM

Helen Finney. Even her name evokes a smile and always the memory of those sparkling blue eyes. This vibrant and special woman was my friend.

In Sparks, Nevada, at an American Agri-Women and American Women In Timber conference in November 2001, she removed the Alaska Women In Timber pin she was wearing and pinned it on me when I praised its beauty. With tears in her eyes, she said she no longer needed it, because Alaska Women In Timber would cease to exist on December 31st after a quarter-century. This pin hangs prominently in my office, less than two feet from my keyboard, reminding me daily of her heroic efforts on behalf of Alaska's timber-related economy.

I am grateful for all the things that put her and me in the same place at the same time, that one time, for it was a deep and abiding, unforgettable blessing. Four years later, out of the blue, I received a dear card and donation from her. The postmark was Hawaii, where she and Don were spending time as she cared for him.

This morning I awakened, wondering again why her email address was no longer working, and checked the Internet, thinking Don had slipped the bonds of earth. No, it was Helen. In less than two years, two Helens, both very dear to me, have gone Home. Both have surely made Heaven shine brighter!

Julie Kay Smithson
London, OH

Received April 14, 2008 - Published April 14, 2008

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