Helen A. Pulsifer of Travelers Rest has died at home on August 8 after a lengthy illness.
Helen was a native of Johnstown, New York. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in English, then pursued graduate education at Syracuse University and earned a master's degree in education. Helen then taught remedial reading in Pennsylvania and New York public schools for a number of years.
A career change began for her when she earned an M.B.A. in Health Systems Management from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. She then worked for several years for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New York, and for ten years with the General Electric Company as a Benefits Manager in Schenectady, and finally in Greenville at the Garlington Road plant before retiring in 1997. After retirement, she and her husband, John joined the Furman University Learning in Retirement program (FULIR, now the OLLI program) and participated energetically in its classes and committees as students and volunteers; Helen's contributions were particularly valued in curriculum development.
Her enjoyment of the outdoors and travel were important in her life, and Helen loved to hike upstate area trails. She made five trips to China with friends and her husband as well as traveling to England, Canada, and Greece. Within the U.S. in recent years she and her husband, John took two two-month driving trips through the southwest, to Big Bend in Texas and out to Death Valley, stopping to hike in other National and State parks and to explore numerous other interesting attractions along the way.
Helen was an avid reader throughout her life for the enjoyment of learning. A longstanding interest in Latin led her to study the language online for several years recently; her high score in a national test won her a gold medal in 2010. Her enjoyment of life, coupled with a sharp mind and good sense of humor led to many friendships, some of which endured since elementary school days. She will be sorely missed by these and the many deep friendships she has made in the Greenville area. Her husband, John will forever remember her as the loving and steadfast partner who made their years together the best of his life.
Helen was born in Johnstown, N.Y., the daughter of Cecile Alexander of Schenectady, N.Y. and Allen H. Pulsifer of Johnstown, both now deceased. She is survived by her husband, John W. Dean of Travelers Rest; and by her brother, Allen H. Pulsifer of Annapolis, Md.; as well as her daughter, Sandra A. Alven of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and her son, David A. Alven of Johnson City, Tenn. and his wife, Eugenia Alven. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Helene and Stephen Ullah of Pittsburgh, Paige and Lucas Alven of Johnson City; and cousins, Ginny Fones of Oswego, N.Y., Robert S. Moore of Steamboat Springs and Robert Alexander of Vail, Colo.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 22, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. at Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Northwest.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 154 Milestone Way, Greenville, SC 29615 or to Hospice Compassus at 1923 E. Main St., Duncan, SC 29334.
Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.thomasmcafee.com.