Mary Helen Rowe Post
1921 - 2014, Santa Barbara
Mary Helen Rowe Post died in her sleep on October 16, 2014, at her home in Santa Barbara, with her family close by. Mary Helen was born May 14, 1921 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Everett Rowe and Evelyn Weber Rowe. The family moved to California in 1921, eventually settling in Carpinteria where Mary Helen and her two brothers, Everett Jr.(Bill) and John, attended elementary school. As a young teen, she worked in the local lemon packing houses and played piano in local churches to help her family, graduating from Carpinteria High School in 1937 at age 16. Awarded a full scholarship to Occidental College by Emma Woods, Mary Helen graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1941, teaching in La Canada and then at Wilson school in Santa Barbara.
She married Edwin Rudd Post in 1948 and moved to Lancaster, where the Post family was involved in farming alfalfa. Rudd and Mary Helen were together 58 years until Rudd’s death. In 1956, the couple and their three daughters moved to Santa Barbara. During the 1960s and 70s, Mary Helen taught at Roosevelt, Wilson, and Lincoln schools, working both as a classroom teacher and a teacher/parent mentor in Head Start programs. She was a long-time member of the Santa Barbara Shakespeare Club and a founding member of Christ the King Episcopal Church, where she served as organist and on the vestry. A life-long Christian, musician, reader and lover of the outdoors, she enriched the lives of all who knew her with her quiet spirituality and her love of music, literature, and nature.
She is survived by her daughters and their families: Sarah and Geoffrey Sarkissian (Modjeska Canyon) and their daughter Julie Post Fitzpatrick (son in law James), and son David Sarkissian; Janet and Cliff Van Renterghem and their daughters Eliana and Elizabeth (Santa Barbara); Alice and Todd Amspoker and their children Stephen, Rachel, and Meredith (Santa Barbara); and by many precious nieces and nephews and their children. Mary Helen was excited by the recent arrival of her first great-grandchild, William Rudd Fitzpatrick, born to Julie and James Fitzpatrick (Brooklyn, New York).
A memorial service will be held at Christ the King, 5073 Hollister Avenue, on Sunday, October 26 at 1:30 pm. Private burial will be held at Carpinteria Cemetery. Gifts in her memory may be made to Christ the King Episcopal Church or the Santa Barbara Music Club Scholarship Fund.