Helena L. (Laidlaw) Claxton

Born: Sun., Feb. 10, 1907
Died: Fri., Dec. 2, 2016


5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Wed., Dec. 07, 2016
10:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Thu., Dec. 08, 2016
Location: IslandView Funeral Services

Funeral Service

1:00 PM Thu., Dec. 08, 2016
Location: Gunnison Memorial Chapel

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Seminole,Florida/Canton,New York/Morristown,New York--Funeral Services for Helena Louise Laidlaw Livermore Claxton, 109 years old, of Seminole, Florida, formerly of 5 Pine Street, Canton, and summer resident of River Road East, Morristown, will be held Thursday December 8, 2016 at 1PM at Gunnison Memorial Chapel on the St. Lawrence University Campus in Canton, New York, with Rev. Kathleen Buckley, University Chaplin, officiating.

Friends may call at IslandView Funeral Services, 300 Main Street, Morristown, New York on Wednesday December 7th from 5 to 6 PM and Thursday December 8th from 10:30 to 11:30 AM. Condolences, photos, flowers and food can be sent online at www.islandviewfs.com

Helena was born February 10, 1907 in Canton, New York, the daughter of Charles Dean Laidlaw MD and Lucy Mable Sprague Laidlaw. In 1923 Helena graduated from Canton High School and continued her education at St. Lawrence University, graduating in 1927. She attended Middlebury College in1927.  She went on to teach French and Latin in Chadwick, NY and then in Victor, NY.

Until the time of her death, Helena was the oldest living alumna of St. Lawrence University.

On June 30, 1930 she married Merle D. Livermore. The couple resided in Ogdensburg until 1947 when they moved to Canton, enabling Helena to care for her mother. Merle died on April 28, 1974.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1985, Helena moved to Seminole, Florida. On December 6th of that year she married Dr. E. Garfield Claxton in the Pasadena, Florida Presbyterian Church Manse. Dr. Claxton died on November 18, 2002.

An avid reader, Helena frequented the Canton Free Library and the library at Freedom Square where she resided in Florida. She donated many books to those libraries. Helena passed on her love of reading, suggesting books and authors to others especially young adults. Helena also read books in French and Latin when she could find them. She enjoyed doing puzzles daily, especially the crossword puzzles from the New York Times. Helena also enjoyed baking oatmeal cookies and sharing them with people. She also shared her recipe with anyone who would request it, but no one could ever recreate her masterful oatmeal cookie!

Merle and Helena owned a cottage near Morristown, named Elmanstone, where she enjoyed swimming. She sold the family cottage in 1976.

An accident at the age of 7 resulted in the development of her distinctive gate. Walking home from school, she fell off of rim of the fountain in the center of the Canton Park and fractured her hip. Her gait was forever changed.

Helena was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Canton.

Helena is survived by a niece-in-law, Patricia Laidlaw and great-nieces and nephews.  Many friends loved her so much that they considered her to be their quasi aunt.  

Helena is predeceased by her husband, Merle Livermore in 1974;  her husband, Dr. E. Garfield Claxton in 2002; and her brother Dean who died in 2000.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Helena’s memory to the Canton Free Library, 6 Park Street, Canton, New York 13617. Condolences may be shared on the funeral home website: www.islandviewfs.com

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Thomas B Mahoney
   Posted Sun December 04, 2016
Helena was my next door neighbor at camp in Morristown for approximately 50 years. She was like my second mother and I visited her often here in Florida while she was living in Seminole. She was a wonderful and caring human being and I loved her deeply. I will miss her always. Love Tom

Tom Luckie
   Posted Tue December 06, 2016
With deepest sympathy to all family and friends on the passing of Helena. From the members, staff and Board of Directors of the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

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