Helen Gallant

Obituary of Helen E. Gallant

Helen E. Gallant ( April 20, 1925 – February 10, 2024)

“Wherever I am is the best place and the people I’m with are the best people.”

Helen Eleanor Honeycombe Ring Gallant of Tucson, AZ, died peacefully at Casa Adobes Assisted Living from natural causes, on February 10, 2024.

She was born in Schenectady, NY in 1925 to Clyde A. and Vera A. Honeycombe, who were an active US Navy family, and thus provided her and her 3 siblings Evelyn, John, and Joyce, with an adventurous start to life. Clyde’s ship was posted to Newport, RI in service of the Atlantic Fleet in 1927. Helen graduated from Rogers High School in 1943 before earning her BA in Education at State University of NY Teacher’s College in 1947. She attained her master’s degree in Pupil Personnel Services in 1965 from San Diego State University.

She married her high school sweetheart, James F. Ring, in December 1946, after his discharge from the US Navy. They remained in Newport where she worked as a 7th grade English teacher, until it was discovered she was pregnant with her 1st child, and she was “regretfully released” by the city because RI would not allow a pregnant woman in the classroom! Undaunted, she became a home schoolteacher while raising her 5 children: James; Kathleen; Michael; Peter and Eileen. She also managed to take courses at Salve Regina College to maintain her teaching license.

In 1960 she moved to San Diego, CA as it provided an opportunity for Jim to secure a better job and for her to complete her master’s degree and enlist the aid of her mother, Vera, to take care of the youngest, Eileen. In 1965, Jim transferred to the Civil Service in Washington, DC. She spent the summer at Howard University in Washington, DC under a Foreign Language Institute grant and began her job as a French teacher at Fairfax High School in Vienna, VA. In 1966, Jim was offered a job as Comptroller at the Naval War College in Newport, RI, and so they moved again. Through all of this she held fast to her credo … “Wherever I am …. “. The city offered her a job as an English and French teacher at Thompson Jr. High School, which she did for two years, before accepting a position as guidance counselor at Rogers High School in 1968. She retired in 1986 and spent the winters in Spring Valley, CA. Jim passed away in 1991.

In 1991, Helen began to travel extensively by going on Elderhostel trips around the world. She loved them because of their educational aspect and being surrounded by those of similar age and interests. She was able to visit the Great Wall of China, Israel, and other parts of the Middle East, Sweden, France, and Austria.

In 1995, on a three- week cruise to Australia and New Zealand, she met and fell in love with her soon to be second husband (m: 11/05/95), Arthur Gallant, who hailed from Silver Spring, MD. They shared a love of poetry, the beauty of the natural world, and embraced the different cultures they met while simultaneously enjoying the food that each country offered. Dessert choices appeared prominently in her diaries. She and Art were able to embark on other trips including going around Cape Horn and visiting Antarctica. At home, they split their time between Silver Spring, MD and Tucson, AZ. Arthur passed away in March of 2000. After his death, she would spend time with daughter Kathy in Fall River, MA and with son, Michael in Tucson, AZ. He built her a small “guest house” on his property in the Avra Valley for her to live in.

In Tucson, Helen became very active in the Stephen’s Ministry at Casa Adobes Congregational Church, where she displayed her self-described “unbounded enthusiasm where church is concerned.” She was always there as a warm, compassionate, and loving presence to those in crisis or in need.

She continued her travels, a lot of which involved retracing her roots in the US. In 2006, she reconnected with childhood friend, Donald Lasher, who had also lost two spouses. He was a travel bug as well and so they married in August of 2006 to set off on the next leg of their lives, which was filled with laughter and adventure. Most of their travel was via cruise ships to Hawaii, to South America, and two trips through the Panama Canal.

After Donald’s death in January of 2017, she remained a permanent resident of Tucson, AZ and lived at Fellowship Square until her death.

Helen will always be remembered for her authentic kindness, her deep faith, and her uncompromising love of chocolate. Her mother, Vera, advised her … when you open a box of chocolates …. take 4! She did so her entire life.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents Clyde and Vera, her sister Evelyn, her brother John, her daughter Kathleen, and her husbands James Ring, Arthur Gallant, and Donald Lasher.

She is survived by her children and their spouses: Jim Ring Jr (Maria Vettraino) of San Diego, CA, Michael Ring (Jeri Spears) of Tucson, AZ, Peter Ring (Jenelle Six) of Alpine, CA, and Eileen Ring of Pascoag, RI. By her grandchildren: Capt. Joe J. Ring USN (Pearl Harbor, HI), Michelle Dumais (Fall River, MA), Capt. Jeff Ring SDFD (San Diego, CA), Debbie Lucas (Somerset, MA), and Ariel Mullen (Westwood, MA). Also survived by her great grand children Amanda Souza, Charles and Schuyler Dumais (Fall River, MA); Jeffrey Ring (San Diego, CA); and Devon and Paige Mullen (Westwood, MA). By her great-great grandchild Miles Lucas (Fall River, MA). Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews throughout the US.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 20,2024 at 1pm at Bring’s Broadway Chapel, 6910 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85710. In lieu of flowers donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Community Food Bank of Tucson, or the American Cancer Society would be greatly appreciated.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Brings Broadway Chapel
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