Helen Best

January 22, 1927 – March 1, 2020

Helen Best, 93, passed away on March 1, 2020 after a brief illness. Helen was born to John and Sarah Schneider in Seattle and raised in Suquamish, WA. After graduating from Seattle University, Helen taught chemistry and physics to the children of American servicemen in Japan where she met George Best, a USAF pilot. They were married in 1955 and raised their eight children at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.

Helen had many talents and hobbies, including sewing, baking, and community service, especially to support her Catholic parishes. She taught CCD, conscripted her sons to altar service, and volunteered at a nursing home for aging nuns. At night she would sew for hours making clothes for her five daughters and three sons.

From September to May Helen served as a house counselor, nurturing young women through adolescence as if they were her own. Every summer Helen returned home to the Pacific Northwest to visit friends and relatives, and serve as helmsperson, galley chef, and deckhand on the family’s salmon troller. When she was not at sea, Helen and her family picked native northwest blackberries or dug for razor clams on Grays Harbor beaches.

Helen had an unusually pleasant personality. She was warm, friendly, understanding, independent, and wise. She lived a wonderfully full life and was loved by all.

Survivors are her husband, George Best; children Sarah (Kevin) Darmofal, Mary (Phil) Russell, William (Marina) Best, Anne (Paul) Penberthy, Margaret (Don) Worden, Catherine (Stephen) Slack, John (Michele) Best; and grandchildren Caitrin Slack, Tom (Sarah) Darmofal, Patrick Slack, Sean Penberthy, Sarah (Matthew) Morris, Joseph Russell, Robert Best, Rachael Worden, Conor Slack, Maggie Slack, and Claire Best.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Robert; brothers John, Richard, Robert; and sister Mary Anne.

A Mass for Helen will be held at St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church on Friday, March 13 at 10:00 a.m.

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