Helen Hondius passed away in Estes Park on November 17, 2020. She was 95.
Helen was a 35-year resident of Estes Park. She served on the board of the Estes Park Medical Center Foundation and the Estes Valley Land Trust. She was active in the League of Women Voters of Estes Park, P.E. O. Estes Park chapter, the Estes Valley Library and was a founding member of the Estes Park Library Foundation. Helen was also instrumental in the legislation that banned sightseeing flights over Rocky Mountain National Park, protecting its natural quiet.
We remember Helen as an intelligent, elegant and gracious person, never ruffled, always patient, and dedicated to helping others.
Helen was born and raised in Minnesota and graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul. She received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College in Boston. During her professional career, she was a medical social worker at the Mayo Clinic, Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, and also in Oxford, England. She was the Chief Pediatric Social Worker at National Jewish Hospital in Denver and the Director of the Social Services Department at Children’s Hospital in Denver.
After she retired, Helen devoted her time to the protection of children’s rights and the prevention of child abuse. She was a founding member of the Metropolitan Child Protection Council, she served on the board of the Colorado Advocacy for Children Today (ACT) and the Colorado Christian Home. She was actively involved with the Denver Medical Society Committee on Child Abuse, the Coalition on Child Placement, and the Colorado Commission on Children and Their Families.
Helen received the Pat Keller Memorial Award for outstanding volunteer child advocate, and the federal Commissioner’s Award for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.
For her child advocacy and influential work on child protection legislation, Governor Richard Lamm proclaimed April 30, 1985 as Helen Hondius Day.
Helen enjoyed nature, hiking, and her dogs. She was a wonderful cook and painted beautiful watercolors.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 47 years, Pieter Hondius, and her niece Janice Ricker.
A Memorial Service has been scheduled for Monday, June 14, 2021 10:00 a.m. At Estes Valley Memorial Gardens 1672 Fish Hatchery Rd., Estes Park, CO. Donations in Helen’s honor can be made to the Estes Valley Library Friends & Foundation, PO Box 1470, Estes Park, CO 80517, or to your favorite animal shelter.