Helen Blakely was born to John and Ruth Blakely on July 18, 1942 in Coronado. She was born in Hadley Hall, the old annex of the Coronado Hospital on Orange Avenue. She attended Coronado schools, kindergarten through 12.
Growing up, she loved to spend her time at the Coronado stables on Alameda Boulevard. She loved cleaning out horse stalls, riding through eucalyptus groves to the beach, where the horses would gallop on the shoreline to the Hotel Del. After the stables closed, her parents allowed her to take the bus to Bradley Stables in Balboa Park where she continued to ride.
Helen’s friendships with her schoolmates endured throughout her life. After a brief marriage, Helen returned to school here she had a “great awakening” with a strong interest with history and the arts. She graduated from San Diego State College, attended University of California at San Diego and University of California at Los Angeles. When living in Los Angeles, she taught school at Marymount High School.
The subject for her Master’s thesis was on the 11th century Pope, Gregory VII. Visiting her sister in Italy, Helen was determined to make a pilgrimage to the medieval cathedral in Salerno where Pope Gregory was still lying in state.
Her second marriage was as the wife of a State Department official. Helen spent many years living in the major cities of Europe, Estoril, Portugal; Madrid, Spain; and two tours in Rome. These duty stations enriched her vast interest in Art History and Western Civilization.
Helen loved animals. She was always bringing home stray dogs and cats. She was an avid gardener and was a gourmet cook.
Survivors include her daughter Lila (Matt) Dickey; grandsons Blake and Thomas; sister Sarah Blakely Brown; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister Virginia.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, corner of Ninth Street and C Avenue, with reception to follow, on her birthday, Saturday, July 18 at 11 a.m. Donations in her honor can be sent to http://houndsavers.org or to a charity of your choice.