Barbara, beloved daughter of Scott Walter Helsing, formerly from Lucas, SD and Clara Marie Karl, from Gregory, SD, was born November 5, 1945 in Washington, DC and lived her entire life in the DC-surrounding areas of Maryland and northern Virginia. Having visited SD family throughout her life, she thought of the South Dakota prairie as a place that felt like “home”.
Barbara was a fiercely independent, professional woman at a time when this was more rare than today. She had a long 38-year career with Potomac Electric Power Company, Washington, D.C., retiring in 2001. Although her work life was important to her, she did enjoy retiring when she did so she could pursue her many interests. One of her first and most important interests was her parents and she spent a lot of time with them and helping them in their home in Warrenton, VA, nearby her brother and his family. She was happy to have the extra time with them as they both passed away in 2006.
She enjoyed a wonderful retirement of 19 years, complete with a lot of US travel, visiting family in Nebraska and South Dakota, New Mexico, and family trips to the Outer Banks of NC. She loved fishing off the pier there with her Dad and later with friends. She also enjoyed several international trips to Hungary, Italy, and Spain. Before and throughout her retirement, she was a dedicated volunteer at The Little Theatre of Alexandria (Virginia), as she loved this vibrant community theatre. Her roles included wardrobe, props design, box office and most recently, archivist. In addition to serving the theatre, she enjoyed attending plays, symphonies and operas at the Kennedy Center and other D.C. area venues. Another passion was attending and serving in various capacities at her church, Emmanuel Episcopal, enjoying the community of fellow worshipers. Her volunteer work also included acting as an election judge, as she felt strongly about her responsibility as a citizen.
Barbara enjoyed cross-stitch, playing pinochle and other card games with family and shared a passion for outlet shopping with her mom and sister. Another passion of her later years was her two orange tabby cats, Tom and Jerry. She also enjoyed going to restaurants, from the rich variety of international cuisine in DC to the German bierstubes in the surrounding countryside at which family would gather for celebrations.
All that have known her reflect on her as being so very kind and gentle and a loyal friend. She always took such joy in helping others and appreciated being remembered by those whose lives she touched.
Barbara passed away peacefully on Friday, October 23, 2020 at her home.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, and by her niece, Lauri Anne Helsing.
Barbara is survived by her brother, Joseph Scott Helsing, and her sister, Judith Helsing Stein; her nieces and nephews Robin Helsing Simmons, Joseph Scott Helsing, Jr., Karl Ernest Stein, and Fiona Hayley Stein; and her grandnieces and grandnephew: Rachael Simmons, Caleb, Serena and Ella Grace Helsing.
Once we are all able to safely come together to celebrate Barbara’s life, we plan to do so. Barbara will be interred, next to her parents, in Warrenton, VA at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal or to The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (links down below)