Helen M. Popp

Jul 26, 2016

Camden — Helen Mitchell Popp, 87, died peacefully at her Quarry Hill residence Thursday, July 21, 2016. Born in Marlborough, Mass., at 4 years she moved to Easthampton, Mass. In 1946, she graduated from Easthampton High School and that fall, began studies at University of Massachusetts, graduating in 1950, having earned a bachelor's degree in English.

On Oct. 21, 1950, she married Frederick William Popp at Easthampton. Mrs. Popp once remarked with humor, “When I met Fred at the University of Massachusetts, there were more than 1,000 men students and only 110 females." The newlyweds made their first home in Watertown, Mass., before moving to North Reading, Mass.

Mrs. Popp taught kindergarten and first grade in North Reading, during which time, she began studies and in 1960 received a master's degree from Harvard University. She then began full-time doctoral studies at Harvard, ultimately earning her doctor of education degree in 1964. She worked as a research associate at Harvard until receiving an appointment as assistant, then as associate professor of education. She directed the program for master's in reading and had many doctoral students.

Retired from the Harvard faculty in 1983, and having spent weekends and partial summers at North Haven with her husband, Mrs. Popp moved permanently to North Haven in 1985. Their home, built by Uncle Chester Dyer and lived in by him and by Ida Wooster Dyer, served them well. Mrs. Popp finished several revisions of the Chall-Popp Phonic books and other related books, as well as the Leap Activities books.

Several church boards, the North Haven Historical Society, Garden Club, grange and various society boards benefited from her particular strengths and she from theirs. Art, gardening and sewing were her hobbies and many folks enjoyed her Christmas cards.

Predeceased by her husband, Frederick W. Popp, in 2013, and a brother Robert B. Mitchell, Mrs. Popp has several relatives, including her brother, George E. Mitchell, and his wife, Constance Ott; her sister-in-law, Nancy S. Mitchell, Robert's widow; George’s children, Kirsten A., John, Paul and Paul’s wife, Betty; and their children, Jason, Peter and Brian; Robert’s three sons and Jason’s children.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date at North Haven Baptist Church. Dr. Robert Bach will officiate. Interment will be in Sea View Cemetery, North Haven.

Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland. To share a memory or story with Mrs. Popp’s family, visit her Book of Memories at bchfh.com.

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