Monday, August 31, 2009

Helen Baillie

For Helen Baillie, family and friends were foremost. Next to them might well be her sewing machine.

A prolific and creative seamstress, in her forty years as receptionist, secretary and seamstress for Racine’s Academy of Dance, owned by her daughter, Bonnie Baillie Konsinowski, Helen fashioned and sewed thousands upon thousands of dance costumes for the Academy’s students, averaging more than 600 a year. The years saw her costume thousands of students, including her great-granddaughter, Mallory Bertone.

At dance recitals, Helen was the vigilant monitor behind the stage, keeping students quiet and in line, ready to go on for their numbers. Fundraisers for the Academy’s Performing Arts Company found Helen minding the “candy” table, also a familiar role for her for the past 14 years at Racine’s Penguin Players performances.

In her earlier years, Helen also built doll houses; not the prefab kind, but ones fashioned entirely from scratch, including much of the furniture, fixtures and people inside. You might also find Helen, and her husband, Leonard George Baillie, who preceded her in death, sailing on Lake Michigan in their US-1, taking a leisurely cruise in their 1955 Jaguar or, during NFL weekends, cheering on their beloved Chicago Bears.

Helen, age 87, a fourth generation Racine resident, passed away at her home on Monday, August 31, 2009. She was born Helen Marie Reichert on April 3, 1922, in Racine to the late Fred and Ruby Simpser Reichert Rabideau. She is a graduate of St. Catherine’s High School.
Helen was also preceded in death by her eldest son, Brian; and three sisters and a brother, Kay, Rita, Carole and Fritz.

She is survived by her children, Bonnie (Richard) Konsinowski, Racine, and Geoffrey (Lynn Larson) Baillie, Long Branch, WA; eight grandchildren, David Johnson, Boston, MA, Michael Konsinowski, Racine, Kelli (Joe) Bertone, Racine, Brian Baillie, Tacoma, WA, Geoffrey Baillie, Seattle, WA, Ashley Baillie, Gig Harbor, WA, Josh Baillie, Boise, ID, and Melanie Baillie, Purdy, WA; two great-grandchildren, Mallory Bertone, Racine, and Conor Baillie, Seattle, WA; and a sister, Mary (Stefan) Kramar, Amarillo, TX. She is further survived by a daughter-in-law, Susan Baillie, Appleton, WI; a nephew, Colonel Guy Glad; great-nieces and many friends.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation services for Helen Marie Reichert Baillie at the funeral home on Monday, September 7, 2009, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Private funeral services will be held, Tuesday, September 8. Entombment will be in West Lawn Memorial Park.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
Purath-Strand Funeral Home & Crematory
3915 Douglas Ave., Racine (262)639-8000

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