Helen Grove Meyer 8/24/1918-7/22/2011
Helen was one of two children of Frank, and Caroline Grove. She was born on August 24, 1918 in New Haven, Connecticut. Frank was a Tool and Die maker for the Lionel Company, so you know what came home at Christmas. Caroline was a devoted mother, who belonged to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), and a staunch supporter of the women’s suffrage movement. Helen, and her sister Elinor grew up in New Haven, Conn., and attended local schools. Helen went on to attend Quinnipiac University and graduated in 1938, the first person in her family to attain a college degree. Following a brief career in business, she met Henry Cord Meyer, a Post Doctorate Fellow, at Yale University, and they were married on Valentine’s Day, 1942 at the Yale University Chapel. Dr. Meyer was recruited by William Donovan to serve as a Commissioned Officer in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), and his wife Helen followed as a civilian employee. Mustering out in 1945, Helen, and Henry went back to Yale for a year of post-doctoral studies, before moving to California. Henry became a professor of Modern European History at Pomona College, while Helen, gave birth to their first child in 1946, Henry Cord Meyer III. The family grew in 1950 with the birth of Christopher Grove Meyer, and Jane Allison Meyer in 1952. While Henry honed his skills in teaching, and research, Helen became active in community causes, and was one of the founding members of the League of Women Voters, of Claremont. Ever involved in both college, and community issues she became a local leader for change.
In 1963, her husband, Henry Cord Meyer, was appointed as the founding Chair of the History Department, at UCI, Irvine. As one of the first 25 UCI employees, there were great challenges ahead. The family moved to Newport Beach in 1963, and Helen set about organizing a local chapter of the League of Women Voters, and later became an instrumental member of The Friends Of the Irvine Coast spending over 20 years battling the Irvine Company to preserve coastal open space. Henry Cord Meyer retired from UCI in 1984, and served as Professor Emeritus until 1999. Helen continued her League, and other activities, while they both traveled extensively. When Helen wanted to go to Turkey, and the Middle East, Henry demurred. She, then set about organizing a tour group, and successfully made the trip. In 2000, Helen, and Henry retired to Mount San Antonio Gardens in Claremont.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband Henry Cord Meyer PhD, DHL, Lt. USNR, a renowned professor, scholar, author and researcher in Modern European History, and rigid lighter than air aircraft (Zeppelins) in September of 2001, and her first born son, Lt. Colonel Henry Cord Meyer III, a decorated Vietnam War veteran in 2004. She is survived by her son Christopher Meyer the recently retired City Manager of Fullerton, her daughter Dallas Celecia (nee Jane Allison Meyer), an advertising executive in Newport Beach and their spouses Robert Celecia, an award winning commercial film director, and Janny Catlin Meyer a retired school teacher, and elected member of the
Fullerton School Board, who is the daughter of former Fullerton Mayor Buck Catlin.
There will be no internment, as Helen has willed her mortal remains to the Loma Linda University Medical School. Donations in her memory can be made to Heifer International (www.Heifer.org). A celebration of her life is scheduled for September 17th at Mount San Antonio Gardens in Claremont, California. Please contact her son Chris, at Chrismeyer100@sbcglobal.net for further information.
Helen lived a wonderful life, during a formative period of our nation. Her children love and miss her. We hope to join with you in the near future to celebrate the special person that Helen was.
Chris and Janny Meyer
Dallas and Bob Celecia