Cover photo for Helen Kent's Obituary
Helen Kent Profile Photo
1944 Helen 2020

Helen Kent

March 10, 1944 — December 2, 2020

Helen Chmela Kent of Garrison, NY, died on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, at the age of 76 at her home after a long battle against cancer.

She was born on March 10, 1944, in Yonkers, the daughter of Anton J. Chmela (born 1904 in Austria-Hungary and died 2004 in Hendersonville, North Carolina) and Helen A. Chmela (born 1903 in Austria-Hungary and died 1978 in Garrison, NY). The family moved from Yonkers to Dick’s Castle in Garrison where she enjoyed an idyllic childhood. She was a graduate of Haldane High School, Connecticut College for Women, and Western Connecticut State University, where she received her Master's in Education.

Helen married William J. Kent of Cold Spring on September 7, 1968, at Saint Joseph’s Church in Garrison. A devout Catholic, she was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Monastery of St. Mary in Garrison and Our Lady of Loretto Church in Cold Spring. She was a devoted mother to her children, Aaron A. Kent of Brooklyn, NY, and Alicia A. Kent of Stratford, CT. She is survived by her brother, Anton S. Chmela of Garrison, and her devoted partner of many years, Paul H. Kinkel of Garrison.

Helen will be remembered by those who knew her for her kind spirit, dry sense of humor, and love of the simple things. She was an avid gardener her entire life, especially passionate about orchids. She was happiest while outside in her garden, which overlooked her beloved Hudson Valley, looking after her flower beds and vegetable patches, and tending to all things green. An avid reader, there were always at least five books by her side. She taught English and Language Arts within the parochial and public school systems of Putnam and Dutchess counties as well as ESL at Westchester Community College. She assigned a reading curriculum for her students that far surpassed the standard.  Through and through, a nurturer.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory should be made to The Garden Conservancy of New York State, P.O. Box 608, Garrison, New York, 10524 or at

Funeral Arrangements are entrusted to Clinton Funeral Home- Cold Spring

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Kent, please visit our flower store.

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