Published in the June 10, 2016 edition
MELROSE — Helen L. (DeVoss) Leo, 78, a longtime resident of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 5.
Born March 22, 1938 in Malden, Helen was one of eight children of the late Richard and Lillian (Obelsky) DeVoss. Helen was raised in Malden and graduated from Malden High School. While at a dance at the Lake Quannapowitt boathouse in the ‘50s, she met Charles Leo and they were married on July 22, 1958. She and Charlie settled in Melrose to raise a family of four. Helen worked for many years at the Malden Evening School as a bookkeeper and secretary, retiring in 2000.
Helen’s lifelong passion for painting began in high school. She was a self-taught oil and watercolor painter, with a focus on ocean and floral scenes. Involved with many art shows, Helen exhibited her work throughout the local community and beyond. She found great joy in being able to create something for others to appreciate. In addition to her interest in art, Helen also enjoyed leading a healthy lifestyle. Her regular health awareness ensured her staying fit, but she also found ways to stay active through the local community. She was a member of the YMCA 50 mile swim club, and participated in a 3-day, 60 mile walk for cancer research, raising $5,000.
In her free time, she and Charlie enjoyed traveling. Summer vacations with the family were spent enjoying the lakes of New Hampshire. When they got closer to retirement, Helen and Charlie enjoyed trips to Las Vegas, Aruba, Prince Edward Island, Alaska and California. Helen was a sweet, loving and sociable woman. Her kindness and warmth drew people to her and she enjoyed hosting family and friends at her home. She will be lovingly remembered by all who knew her.
The Leo family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Oosterman’s Rest Home in Wakefield for the wonderful care and love given to Helen.
Helen was the beloved wife of Charles R. Leo, with whom she shared 58 years of marriage. She was the devoted mother of Gregory Leo and his wife Josephine of Lawrence; Beth-Anne Leo of Braintree; Susan Leo-Johnson and her husband Arthur of Worcester and David Leo and his wife Alison of Winchester. She was the dear sister of Patricia Doucet and her husband Joseph of Melrose; Kathleen Dascher-Knox and her husband Frank of Malden; Elta Field and her husband William of New Jersey; Richard DeVoss and his late wife Patricia of North Carolina and the late Ivin B. DeVoss; Arline Scritchfield and her late husband Bill and the late Thomas DeVoss. She was the cherished grandmother of Shane, Chantelle, Nicholas, Madison, Clay, Lilly, Gracie and Audrey. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Helen’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Wednesday, June 8, and again on Thursday, June 9 before leaving in procession to St. Mary Church, Herbert Street, Melrose, for her Funeral Mass. Interment took place in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. For online tribute, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.