Helen Anna Herrold of Little Rock, Arkansas passed away on June 15, 2020, surrounded by her loving children and extended family at Baptist Health Center. She was born in Queens, New York, to Sabatino and Angelina Aufiero Lettiere. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, United States Air Force (USAF) Major Andrew William Herrold.
Helen was the fifth of six children and spent most of her childhood and young adult life in Ozone Park and Central Islip, New York. She earned her Registered Nurse degree from Adelphi University where she met her future husband Andrew. The couple married on December 28,1954, and remained so through the end of their days.
After marrying, Helen and Andrew started a family. They had five children while traveling and living in numerous places around the world as a result of Andrew’s career in the USAF. While somewhat reserved, her adventurous spirit and kind heart drew her friends and family to her. She embraced the experience of living abroad for many years in Japan and Germany, exploring the local cultures and culinary traditions while making several lifelong international friends.
While living in Japan, Helen developed a passion for Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral design, and studied at the Sogetsu School graduating as Professor of the First Degree. She also began a career teaching English to local children and adults and studied Japanese and Korean cuisine, mastering the art of making gyoza and bulgogi among other dishes—many of which remain favorites within generations of her family.
Similarly while living in Germany, Helen embraced the local culinary traditions and incorporated many dishes into the family repertoire, including “snails” (escargot) which the family introduced with much amusement and occasional dismay to many of the friends they made after Andrew retired from the Air Force and the family moved to Arkansas. The couple chose to settle in Cabot, Arkansas, rather than return to New York. They purchased a small amount of acreage and embraced a rural lifestyle and working a small farm, growing crops for the family and raising chickens and pigs for several years.
While living in Cabot, Helen used her degree and worked as the Registered Nurse at Remington Arms in Lonoke. She entered the workforce to support the family to ensure each of her five children would be able to attend college. Education was of great importance to both Helen and Andrew and they sacrificed much to ensure their children had the best chance of success in life. Helen retired from Remington after 20 years of service. After her children left the home, the couple relocated to Little Rock where they lived for the remainder of their days.
She put family first always, and rarely declined an ask of her. She shuttled grandchildren, enjoyed being a sous chef, helped with household chores, pitched in to clean up a yard, and was always up for a shopping run. She lived for these moments to connect and be present with her family. As Andrew aged and his Alzheimer's set in, Helen was there—caring and resolute to provide him the best life until the end.
As she aged, she became a woman of fewer words, often choosing to listen in on family conversations rather than leading them. Perhaps she had fewer life lessons still to give, or perhaps she was just enjoying her legacy. In those family gathering moments, the hint of a knowing smile was always a giveaway of her contentment. She raised a family and she raised it well.
Helen is survived by her children, Dr. Jeffrey Herrold (Susan) of Hot Springs, AR, Randall Herrold (Dee) of Bethel Heights, AR, Dr. Melanie Smith (Tom) of Little Rock, AR, Tracey Gangluff (Bill) of Granger, IN, and Todd Herrold of San Francisco, CA; her grandchildren, Jeffrey, Megan, Danny, Connor, Jonathan, Chelsey, Holden, and Gillian; Hayden, Sullivan, Addison, Harrison; her great-grandchildren, Malory, Meredith, Naomi, Claudia and Luke; one sister Nancy Bono of Amityville, NY; and many other family, friends, and loved ones.
Visitation will be held 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 22, 2020, at Smith-North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main Street. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 310 West 17th Street, Little Rock. Burial will be at Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.
State of AR COVID-19 directives: Face coverings required at all times. Maintain social distancing. No hugs or handshakes please.
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