Helen Kent (1944-2020)

Helen Kent, 76, of Garrison, died of cancer on Dec. 2 at her home.

She was born March 10, 1944, in Yonkers, the daughter of Anton and Helen Chmela, who were both immigrants from Austria-Hungary. The family moved from Yonkers to Dick’s Castle in Garrison, where Helen enjoyed an idyllic childhood, her family said. She was a graduate of Haldane High School, the Connecticut College for Women, and Western Connecticut State University, where she received a master’s degree in education.

On Sept. 7, 1968, Helen married William Kent at St. Joseph’s Church in Garrison. A devout Catholic, she was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Monastery of St. Mary in Garrison and Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring.

Helen will be remembered for her kind spirit, dry sense of humor, and love of the simple things, her family said. She was an avid gardener and especially passionate about orchids. Her garden overlooked her beloved Hudson Valley.

She also was a passionate reader, and there were always at least five books by her side. She taught English and language arts within the parochial and public school systems of Putnam and Dutchess counties as well as English as a Second Language at Westchester Community College.

Helen is survived by her children, Aaron Kent of Brooklyn and Alicia Kent of Stratford, Connecticut, as well as a brother, Anton Chmela of Garrison, and her partner of many years, Paul Kinkel.

Memorial donations may be made to the Garden Conservancy (gardenconservancy.org).

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