Longtime Post copy editor dies at 92

December 19, 2016 GMT

Veteran Connecticut journalist Grace Helm, whose more than 30-year career began at the now-defunct Bridgeport Telegram, died recently at her retirement home, friends and family said.

Helm, 92, died Dec. 7 at the Elim Park Baptist Home in Cheshire, her friend Ann Berman said Monday. Helm and Berman were neighbors in a shorefront neighborhood in Milford for many years, before Helm moved to Cheshire in 2010.

She was born in Stratford on May 11, 1924 and graduated from Harding High in Bridgeport in 1942. She began at the Telegram, the morning daily and sister newspaper to the Connecticut Post in 1951. She remained at the Post and Telegram into the mid-1980s.

She also worked for a time at the daily Milford Citizen, where she wrote a column on local history, Berman said.

Colleagues remembered her Monday as a careful editor and a newsroom character.

“Grace was one of the first people I met when I came to work here and one of the nicest,’’ entertainment columnist Joe Meyers said. “We both worked the night shift for the long-defunct Telegram. She was down to earth and totally dedicated to her editing work.

“(She was) a real newspaper person who knew this part of Connecticut like the back of her hand. I so appreciated her help in getting acclimated to a state I knew nothing about before my arrival,’’ Meyers said. “A quirky, no BS lady with a heart of gold.’’

Helm was considered a good copy editor, “and she could make people laugh,’’ feature writer Phyllis Boros said.

Friends said that Helm was an outspoken critic of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, and was an avid swimmer, in Long Island Sound during the summer and at the city-owned McCann Natatorium in colder weather.

“She was smart, opinionated and with an endless search for the sarcasm and humor in life,’’ Berman said.