Historian of the year

2019: Helen Meyers

Each year the Downers Grove Historical Society recognizes a person who has contributed to the Society’s mission of celebrating and preserving Downers Grove history. We are proud to recognize long time member, volunteer, and Historical Society Director Emeritus Helen Myers as the 2019 Historian of the Year.

Helen was born and raised in Downers Grove. Never to be one to sit around, she started working part time in high school for Lucille’s Cleaners. She left to attend college receiving her bachelors degree in economics from then Benedictine College. Her friendly smile and great customer service at Lucille’s Cleaners had always made an impression on her customers. So when she applied after graduating for a position with AT&T, it happened that the hiring manager was one of her customers from the cleaners. She was hired on the spot. Her career with AT&T (with perfect attendance) and a short break to raise children, lasted 36 years. She rose to the position of Marketing Manager before she retired.

Helen has long been known and appreciated for freely giving of her time and talents in many volunteer capacities. She has been a lifelong member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church serving on many committees and work areas including leadership roles with the Women’s Group and the church council.

She was heavily involved with the fundraising to bring Good Samaritan Hospital to Downers Grove. Once established, she volunteered with Good Sam’s auxiliary, serving as president of the auxiliary from 2003 to 2004 and working with other volunteers at the gift shop for many years.

Helen volunteered with the Downers Grove Historical Society and is currently Director Emeritus with the organization. Those who worked with Helen as a volunteer and when she was a valued board member, knew they could count on Helen to be at Founders Day activities, Living Cemetery, any and all fund raising efforts, and to always be available to answer questions about Downers Grove history. She also served with the Museum as a docent for many years, giving museum tours and answering all the questions visitors might have about Downers Grove.

Morton Arboretum also benefited from her volunteer spirit as she and her dear friend Montrew Dunham spent many hours there as docents.

Helen noted that, “I’ve always found people who like to volunteer to be very interesting.” This fact and her love of history and of Downers Grove kept her coming back time and again to volunteer her time and talents to make a difference.

We would like to congratulate her and thank her for the many years dedicating her time and talent to the Historical Society and many other worthy organizations. We are proud to recognize Helen Myers as the Downers Grove Historical Society’s 2019 Historian of the Year.

The Historical Society recognized Helen on September 22nd, 2019 at the Downers Grove Public Library. The presentation began at 2:00pm and was preceded by a special performance by historic portrayal actor Leslie Goddard.

Helen passed away in 2020.

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