Helen Magennis, 90

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 10:45am

Helen Magennis, 90, a longtime resident of the island, passed away on July 2, 2017 at Stoneridge in Mystic, Conn.

For much of her life, Helen resided in New York, where she was born, and New Jersey, where she raised her children. Based on a chance tip, Helen and her husband Frank decided to spend a week on Block Island in the early 70s. They immediately fell in love with the beauty of the island and the people they met. Ultimately, they built a house on the Neck, resettled on the island, and lived there fulltime until 2014.

Helen was happiest in her garden, growing organic vegetables and tending to her beloved flowers; a legacy of daffodils return every spring on her former property. Another passion was enjoying the natural beauty of the Block. She was a regular volunteer at her church and the community of Saint Andrews was a bedrock of her faith and friendships. Helen and Frank loved sampling the cuisine of the island restaurants. As an avid follower of the stock market, she was available to share a tip or two — always given freely with her ever-present smile. Helen was the consummate beach lover and could often be found acting the lifeguard for her husband, who would be out in the water catching waves; a theme throughout her life commencing at such surfing hot spots as Breezy Point, New York, followed by Long Branch, New Jersey and, later, but not least, at Mansion, Crescent and Black Rock beaches, among others.

Helen was famous at home for her deep dish apple pie (never to be replicated), her willingness to filet and cook a great blue, and her unequaled and potent gin and tonics.

She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 67 years, Frank; her four children, Maura, Mark, Anne and Anne and Peter; in addition to five grandchildren.

A service for Helen was held on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at Saint Andrew Roman Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Andrew Church (Box 279, Block Island, R.I. 02807) or the Block Island Conservancy (Box 84).