In sad coincidence, Helen, a beloved mother, grand and great-grand mother passed quietly in her sleep late Mother’s Day evening, May 8, 2022.
Helen was born in Salt Lake City in 1932 to Fred C. and Florence Hale Heightsman. She outlived her fraternal twin, Hazel, her older brother Ed, her husband, Clifton B. Gordon, and eldest son, Bruce V. Winn. Helen had three children in her first marriage to Norman C. Winn and is survived by her son, Brent T. Winn (& Laurie), her daughter, Holly Winn Willner, and Bruce’s wife, Pam, as well as 10 grandchildren and extended family.
She was a wordsmith, proud educator, a punster, game innovator and prolific author of award-winning text books, historical novels and poetry spanning 70+ years. Helen studied as an honor student at University of Utah, earned her BA and Masters at CSU, Sacramento and continued her career-defining education earning her Doctorate in Education from Nova University. In addition to her degrees, Helen earned numerous other certificates, citations, awards, honors for her academic and humanitarian achievements
She taught English, Literature, ESL and Women’s studies at Porterville and Bakersfield Community Colleges, as well as wrapping her CSU career at UCSB.
She was a master researcher and became an expert on Shakespeare and authored theories, papers, books and articles for which she has received 1000’s of references and accolades.
Helen was a devoted member of the Unitarian Universalist church; she attended and generously supported the Bakersfield, Santa Barbara and Goleta, CA Live Oak Fellowships.
Her benevolent imprint will live on; she was a champion for human rights, women’s rights, immigrants, literacy and supported numerous charities from ecology to equal pay. She brought joy, wit and compassion to all she met. She will be greatly missed.