A Mass of Christian burial for 99-year old Mrs. Helena M. Tolman will be held in the spring at St. Mary’s Church in Potsdam at a date and time to be announced. A spring burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Potsdam. There are no calling hours. Arrangements are with Seymour Funeral Home in Potsdam.
Mrs. Tolman died December 20, 2010 at Clifton-Fine Hospital in Star Lake. She had been living with her sister, Pauline Bassette in Newton Falls, for the last three years. Helena was a former resident of Potsdam.
Including her sister Pauline Bassette of Newton Falls, Helena is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband, Walter Tolman; a sister, Mrs. Mary Lines; and four brothers, James, John, Arnold, and Mark Dean.
Helena was born in West Pierrepont on August 20, 1911 the daughter of Charles H. and Edith (Blackmer) Dean. She graduated from Canton High School in 1928 and from Potsdam Normal School in 1935 after attending a Teacher training program in Ogdensburg and completing three years of practice teaching. Helena later received her Bachelor’s degree from Potsdam College in 1958.
On June 29, 1937 Helena married Walter E. Tolman in Canton. Walter was employed with his father and brother in the family grocery store in Potsdam at that time. He served in the U. S. Army in WW II from 1942 to 1945 in the European Theater. He later became a salesman for Mechanic’s Choice products line. Walter died March 4, 2002.
Mrs. Tolman began her teaching career in the Potsdam area district schools joining the staff of the Congdon Campus School in Potsdam in 1952. She taught there until 1958 when she moved to the new Potsdam Elementary School where she continued to teach until her retirement in 1970.
After retirement Helena and her husband Walter wintered in Florida for many years and continued their summer residence in Potsdam. They enjoyed traveling the Eastern States and Canada, and were particularly fond of square dancing, their favorite pastime.
Helena was a member of St. Mary’s Church and former member of St. Mary’s Alter and Rosary Society as well as the NYS Retired Teachers Association.
If friends so desire memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the Clifton-Fine Hospital in her memory.