Helen Wahl of Green Valley, Arizona, passed away at the age of 87 on June 10, 2019, due to natural causes.
Helen was born in Independence, Missouri, on January 1, 1932. She graduated from Central Missouri State University with an undergraduate degree and from the University of Kansas with a graduate degree. She enjoyed being a fan of Kansas basketball and the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
Helen, a proud feminist, had a lifelong spirit of adventure. She loved to travel with her husband, David Wahl, and she cared deeply for her community. Living in Denver, Chicago and later the Kansas City area, she worked as a physical education teacher and then a high school counselor, taught courses at Johnson County Community College (including one called Life With Laughter), served on her county library board and started the first divorce mediation service in the state of Kansas as an alternative to using the court system. She was also the president of the Women’s Political Caucus in Kansas City.
After their retirement to Arizona in 1998, she traveled with David to international and domestic locations through the Elderhostel program. She enjoyed reading, hummingbird-watching, New York Times crossword puzzles and playing shuffleboard, and she wrote several books that she self-published, including an autobiography. She had a wonderful laugh, and she encouraged everyone around her to pursue their passions. Helen was especially courageous in her later years, battling through breast cancer, a mastectomy, a botched cataract surgery that left her photosensitive and partially blind in one eye, and a debilitating lung infection called MAC.
Helen’s ashes will be scattered in Madera Canyon outside Green Valley, as was her wish.
Survivors include David, her husband of 50 years; son Eric Wahl and his husband, Pete Buchholz; and son Grant Wahl and his wife, Dr. Celine Gounder.
A memorial service will take place in July in Green Valley. Donations can be made in her name to adopt an Orca whale at WhaleMuseum.org.