Photography

       


Helene Joy Bard

August 6, 1917 ~ January 27, 2018 (age 100)

Helene Joy Carr Bard departed this life peacefully on January 27, 2018. Born on August 6, 1917, in Erie, PA to George and Martha Carr, Helene had two older brothers and one younger sister as well as an older half sister and half brother. She graduated from Academy High School in Erie where she was a member of the a cappella choir that traveled by bus to the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair. The girls performed for the crowds in their elegant gold satin blouses and long blue skirts (Academy’s school colors). At the tender age of 16 she fell for the love of her life, Ronald Bard, who wooed her with his dreamy blue eyes and rides in his motorcar. They married in 1939 when she was 21 and America was still under the cloud of the Great Depression but not yet in the war. Their first born came a month after Pearl Harbor, a second child two years later and a bonus baby arrived in 1961. Helene and Ron moved their small family first to Morgantown, WV and then on to Elkins where Ron’s dream of owning his own car dealership became a reality in 1952. Bard Motors was in business for over 30 years, nestled deep in the Tygart Valley amongst the West Virginia hills. Helene’s daddy, who rose to become the CFO of the Hammermill Paper Company in Erie, taught her how to keep the books and she did the monthly financial statements for the business. Her compensation was dinner at the local restaurant on Friday night or a meal out on Sunday after church. During those Elkins years she was a strong link in the chain that was The First United Methodist Church. Hundreds if not thousands of children knew Mrs. Bard, sitting at the piano, teaching them ‘Jesus Loves Me’ and ‘This Little Light of Mine’. She taught Sunday School, ran Vacation Bible School, was a Girl Scout leader, PTA president, a whirlwind of activity always followed her. Outgoing and gregarious, Helene was the definition of a people person and when not at home she could be found somewhere down the street visiting with a neighbor. Her teenage children would shrink behind her as she proudly recounted their achievements to anyone and everyone who would listen. She was smart and creative, and could figure out how to make or fix just about anything. She served up many a holiday meal to her family, sewed Halloween costumes which yielded prizes such as ‘the scariest’ or ‘the funniest’ and organized community parades to encourage residents not to litter in her small town. She greatly enjoyed singing and played the piano by ear. Helene loved travel and would jump in the car to go somewhere at the drop of a hat. She said that she was destined to marry her car crazy husband because her own last name was Carr. She visited all 50 states, 49 of those with her beloved Ronnie, the 50th one, Alaska, with her daughter and granddaughter after his passing. She had a natural curiosity about all different peoples and welcomed new members of the community that came from the far corners of the world, the two Dr. Chungs from Korea and the Masilamani’s from India to name a few. She greatly enjoyed socializing with her international friends tasting their cuisines and learning about their customs and cultures. In lieu of her own international travel she collected Madame Alexander dolls in the national costumes of countries from around the globe and she would proudly display her collection at special events held by the Elkins Women’s Club or the Wesleyan Service Guild. Ron’s retirement brought them south to a new home in Tarpon Springs, FL and more time spent together. A Golden Wedding Anniversary was celebrated in 1989. There were more grandchildren and great grandchildren to sing to and cook for and love. First United Methodist Church of Tarpon Springs became the anchor of her faith and she sang in the living Christmas tree and taught music to the preschoolers of The Gospel Train. The last chapter of her life was spent in Tallahassee, near her daughter, granddaughter and family. Helene had the uncanny ability to walk into any grassy field and within moments pluck a four leaf clover from amongst the blades. A lifetime of four leaf clovers must have brought her lots of luck as she celebrated her 100th birthday last August surrounded by her loving family. At night Helene loved to go outside, gaze at the moon and make a wish if she caught a glimpse of a falling star. One hundred years of wishes come true will be lovingly remembered by all who knew her. Helene is survived by son Rollin Bard and his wife Kathy, of College Station Texas, two daughters, Janet Bard Hanson of Tallahassee, FL and Lynette Bard and her husband Paul Rix of Sanibel, FL. She had nine grandchildren, Randy Bard, Elizabeth Bard, Zechariah Bard, Juliette Thomas, Andrew Hanson, Jenae Blumer, Matthew Rix, Aaron Rix, and Margaret Rix; twelve great grandchildren, Catie, Emily and Ruthie Bard, Erica and Dillon Matthewson, Harvey and Helen Bard (her newly born namesake), Joelle Olivieri, Jonnekia Thomas, Kai Hanson, Jack and Finn Blumer; and two great-great granddaughters, Khalynn and Joselynn Olivieri. A service of Christian burial will be held at Sylvan Abbey, Clearwater, FL on Tuesday, January 30, 2018, at 3 o’clock. Sunset Point Funeral Home in Clearwater is handling the arrangements. A Celebration of Life service will be held later in 2018 time and place to be determined.

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