Greece: Passed away peacefully in her sleep at her daughter’s home in Livonia on Monday March 27, at the age of 94. Helen was born in Charlotte on February 8, 1923, the youngest of Carl and Bertha (Rossbach) Phillips’ three children. A lifelong resident of Rochester, she lived nearly her entire life within a mile or so of her birthplace. She was the cherished wife of George A. Baron, with whom she shared 56 happy years of marriage, until his death in 2009. Together they raised their four daughters in Greece and had a long and interesting retirement, filled with travel, volunteering and family life. Helen was a Girl Scout leader for many years and was an avid and accomplished seamstress and quilter, who enjoyed doing service projects with the Sewer’s Guild. She was a proud graduate of Charlotte High, Class of 1942, and spoke often of her high school job scooping custard at Abbott’s in Charlotte, ‘when it was just a nickel’. She was also proud of her German heritage, her parents both being hard-working immigrants. She was an environmentalist, long before anyone used that word, piling the family station wagon with old newspapers and hauling the load downtown for recycling, because she wanted the world to be a better place for her children. She valued friendship above most other things in her life, frequently reminding her girls that ‘you can never have too many friends’, and encouraging them ‘to make a little friendship’ if they ever noticed someone on the periphery of a group. It was this philosophy that led her to grab wallflower, George Baron, by the hand at a dance and propel him onto the dance floor with her. Much of her life was motivated by kindness and a desire to do good for others, and her daughters hope that in some small ways they have carried this lesson into their own lives as her most important legacy.
In addition to her husband, Helen was pre-deceased by her beloved siblings Elsie and Carl Phillips. The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to Helen’s loving caregivers, Tory Reome, Amy Trescott, Karen Moran and Katie Marr, who helped to make her final months happy ones.
She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Nancy Baron and Neil Osterweil of Holliston, Massachusetts, Patricia Baron-Mills and Mark Mills of Livonia, Susan Baron and Eric Cosman of Honeoye and Pamela and Jeff Marti of Olympia, Washington as well as ‘daughter number five’, Mary Ellen O’Neill of Churchville; grandchildren George and Byron Osterweil, Beth (Mills) Spence and husband, Dan; Ben, Hannah and Hunter Mills, Dana Marti and Katie Cosman, great-grandchildren Ryder Spence and Colton Mills, her sister-in-law Flora Barber and five nieces and nephews.
Services will be held on Wednesday, April 5, at 1:30pm at Messiah Lutheran Church, 4301 Mount Read Blvd. Burial to follow at Riverside Cemetery. Contributions in her honor to support community service projects may be made to Sewer’s Guild, c/o Messiah Lutheran. To share a memory or send a condolence please visit: