Obituary: Helen MacAusland, 95

Helen MacAusland, 95, of Wilton, Conn., died suddenly on Oct. 28, 2016, at the Hunt Community in Nashua, N.H., her home since 2005. Suddenly, because she had only transitioned to assisted living four months before. During that transition, she had to wear an ankle bracelet due to being deemed a flight risk.

A flight risk. She was, indeed, one. Before the start of every summer, since 1960, we expected to see the multitude of shopping bags from AAA filled with Triptiks, maps, and camping and (a few) hotel books. Each one checked thoroughly by the navigator because we were driving to 48 U.S. states, six Canadian provinces, and about half of the states in Mexico. We had to fly to Hawaii, of course. (Damn you, Alaska.) Dad at the wheel (except when you could go 80 in Kansas) and mom entertaining us girls with homemade MadLibs and “I spy with my little eye” games.

Perpetual motion. Non-stop. Go, go, go. Mom was the volunteer chairperson for the Southwestern Connecticut Cancer Society, the Wilton (CT) Women’s Club, the Girl Scouts’ cookie drive, and something called “Needles” with the Red Cross in Norwalk (CT) in the early 60s (NO idea what that was). Sundays would not be Sundays without the visceral competitions before noon with dad over the NYT crossword puzzle. Then, there were the friendships she maintained, for as long as 80 years in some instances. Friends from her childhood in New Jersey, from camping trips out west in the 60s, from Connecticut, and from when we lived on college campuses in Colorado, Oregon and California. Didn’t forget birthdays or anniversaries or Christmas or Easter. Ever.

There are some friends who only knew Helen for her dancing abilities. The free spirit knew how to embarrass us and delight men. Definitely, a flight risk. Music moved her and she saw many of the best crooners, orchestras and musicals due to coming of age in the NYC area during the golden era of the 40s, 50s and 60s.

This is not complete without mentioning her love and appreciation of art, which she taught us. Original paintings throughout our home. Native American pottery and jewelry. Sculptures. Good and bad stuff. Whenever possible, she either knew the artists or went out of her way to meet them. She had an amazing sense of color and style.

She is deeply missed by her girls, Lynn MacAusland of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Kyle MacAusland Berlin of Exeter, N.H. Her grandchildren, Hannah Huegel and Land Huegel, both of Salt Lake City, Utah, Abby Berlin of South Portland, Maine, and Drew Berlin of Providence, R.I. Her sons-in-law, Tony Huegel and Evan Berlin. And, all the friends and relatives she didn’t outlive.

We all celebrated her life last November in Maine, her most favorite place. She is with her husband of 54 years now, Donald MacAusland, enjoying the surf.

Message to mom: We realize this is riddled with grammatical errors. Get the No. 1 out.