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Helen T. Cordo

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Helen T. Cordo 89, of Tremper Avenue in Phoenicia died Saturday December 15, 2018 at the ArchCare Center in Rhinebeck. She was born January 15, 1929 in Brooklyn daughter of the late Alexander and Julia Lasher Whitaker. She was a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, and an area resident for more than 50 years. Helen was the Phoenicia Elementary School’s most beloved teacher’s aide. She made it her job to greet each child off the school bus in the morning with a smile and a hug. She said, “That one hug may be the only one some of those little children get each day.”

Helen was the Master of Ceremony of the Phoenicia Elementary Flag Day Ceremony for decades. Helen organized the event, invited the guests, and made sure the red, white and blue decor was fully decked out. She always needed a box of tissues to get through the entire program. She was the founding member of the Phoenicia Poppy Queen traditional celebration for the Memorial Day observances and had been a member of the Onteora Non-Teacher’s Association.



Helen had an appreciation of nature, and had her front porch filled with song birds and squirrels at the feeders. She even made time to be involved with the Shandaken Theatrical Society. She was always being greeted on Main Street by adults who had remembered her from their elementary school days. What a beautiful legacy!

Surviving are her two sons, Barry Whitaker of Burnt Hills, and Douglas Cordo of Ballston Spa. A sister Marilyn Koerner of Long Island, and three grandchildren, Shawn and Colleen Whitaker, and Crystal Cordo also survive. She was predeceased by her son James in 1998, husband Lenny, her brother Ray in Jan. 2018, and grandson US Army Douglas Cordo in 2011.

Friends will be received on Wednesday from 2 – 4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home. Helen’s funeral procession will form on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. thence to the St. Francis de Sales Church where at 10 a.m. a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in the Hudler Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the M. F. Whitney Hose Co. You may share a special Helen story on her Tribute Wall at

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