Helene Maxwell Schmidt was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania to Frederick Henry Schmidt and Jean Maxwell Schmidt, and was the great, great grandaughter of Christian Schmidt, the founder of Schmidt's Beer. She attended The Shipley School, Moore College of Art and the University of Florida in Gainsville, Florida. Here she began a journey of spiritual enlightenment in ashrams from India to Gainesville to the Catskills of New York.
Helene had a lifelong love and fascination with many things ethereal: she worked for many years giving astrological and psychic readings and explored other worldly alien and human interactions. She was a student of astronomy, an ordained minister, a Feng Shui practitioner, and often consulted the I Ching.
Helene was a talented and creative artist who expressed herself with collage, drawing, painting, photography, and fractal art. She also had a great love for animals and nature. After her move to the Ithaca area twenty years ago, Helene became an avid gardener and herbalist, and helped out regularly at the family greenhouse business. She shared her life with her beloved cats, Champusbeast and GoPing. She will be remembered for her gentle heart, open mind, acceptance in the face of adversity, quirky sense of humor and big laughs, and her great appreciation for life, including good food, Sam's music, Star Trek, bat cams, and big hugs.
Helene is survived by her brother, Fritz Schmidt, sister-in-law Siri Jones, nephew Sam Schmidt, family members, dear cousins and an ever-growing circle of close friends. Helene's family sends out their heartfelt thanks to her caregivers who loved and supported her these past few years.
A memorial gathering is planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations in Helene's honor may be made to Tompkins County SPCA, or plant some herbs to remember her by.