Helen Chase Pyke of East Enosburg, died at the age of 88 on January 1, 2022 at Our Lady of the Meadows in Richford. She was born Helen Rutherford Chase, in Burlington, on March 16, 1933. The eldest child of Ruth Mary Collins and Enoch Chase, she grew up in Ferrisburg at Ecole Champlain, a summer camp for girls established by her mother and grandfather in 1923, now Kingsland Bay State Park.
A strong student, she attended the Kent Place School and matriculated at Middlebury College at age 16. There she majored in Russian and French, and met her husband of 58 years, Taylor Pyke. After marrying in 1953, they lived in Florida, Idaho, and Montana, before settling on a farm in Richmond in 1967. She was an early devotee of health foods, foraging the woods and fields for mushrooms and other plant edibles, grinding grains to bake bread, making yogurt, and cultivating an expansive garden. In her mid 30’s, she first embraced what would come to be an enduring passion for astrology and palmistry. Ever a student, for much of her adult life she traveled weekly to study palmistry with a master palmist in Montreal. Over the years she cast thousands of astrological charts and read palms for clients both in and out of state.
In 1982, she moved with her family to East Enosburg, where she took up quilting, became a prolific knitter of Argyle socks, and is remembered for outstanding pies whipped up in a flash. She is also remembered for her lively imagination, mesmerizing her grandchildren with fairy and gnome walks in the woods; and for instilling in her offspring a love of nature, books, literature, and Scrabble.
She served on the Board of the Lake Champlain Waldorf School for many years, was active with the West Enosburg Methodist Church women’s group, and was a long-time friend and supporter of the Sisters of Mercy in Colchester. She was also a longstanding member of the Anthroposophical Society of America and especially devoted to her anthroposophical reading group.
She is predeceased by her second son William, and her husband Taylor, and survived by 5 children—Robert Pyke of Nantucket, MA; Anne Peel of Portland, OR; Lindsay Fleming of Baltimore, MD; John Pyke of East Enosburg; and Grantley Pyke of Baltimore, MD, as well as 7 grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to CarePartners, 34 Franklin Park West, St. Albans, VT.
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