J. Helen Brackett, of Charlotte, North Carolina, passed peacefully from this life March 7, 2020, following a brief illness. She was a three-time cancer survivor, and lived a long, full life. Helen was born in 1926 in Blue Ridge, and was the daughter of the late Radie and Ernest Brackett.
She worked at Eastern Airlines for 30 years. She was assigned at various times in Atlanta, New York, Miami and finally Charlotte, where she retired to a lovely home in Steele Creek. She was an avid gardener, and always had a bunch of vegetables growing in the yard. If it wasn’t for the deer, she would also have had a beautiful flower garden. But, she loved sitting on her sun porch, watching the deer and other wonderful critters that populated her yard and the park beyond her home.
Helen was the adored aunt of three generations of nieces and nephews. Auntie Helen loved these children in return. She was also the treasured companion of the late Arlene Wilson, a fellow Eastern Airlines employee. They shared many wonderful times golfing, fishing, gardening, cooking and traveling around the country.
After many years of living in Steele Creek, she left her beloved home to move to Sharon Towers in 2011. She loved living there and made many wonderful friends.
Helen was an avid sports fan. When the Atlanta Braves or Charlotte’s hometown teams were playing, she had the TV on rooting for her favorites. Her morning routine included reading the sports page while drinking her first cup of coffee. She also was a life-long golfer. She began playing in Atlanta while still a young woman. She and a group of friends rented clubs and played nine holes. She had such a wonderful time, she went downtown that day and bought her first set of clubs. She was sad when she had to give up the game due to the demands of older age. She also enjoyed fishing and went on many trips to drop a line in the water.
Her dear friend, Bonnie Thompson, was a constant source of help to her as her eyesight began to fail and health problems became more routine. She loved Bonnie like a daughter.
Her life was made fuller by her association with Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church. The close congregation became the source of many friends and volunteer opportunities. The session of Steele Creek Presbyterian Church at Pleasant Hill chose to nominate her for the 2020 Legacy Award, in accordance with the Presbytery Guidelines for Nomination, which includes “exemplifying positive images of aging personally and serving as a role model to generations for growing older with a sense of God’s Grace.” Unfortunately, the ceremony for this event is after her death, but she knew about it and was deeply touched. Helen is one of 31 receiving awards to be given out this year in the Charlotte Presbytery.
Helen will be sorely missed by her surviving brother, Mike Brackett, of Atlanta, and all of her nieces and nephews scattered around the states.
In lieu of flowers, you may care to make a donation to Steele Creek Presbyterian Church at Pleasant Hill, in her name.