Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

Helene was seventeen and spoke little English when she and her mother arrived in Buffalo in 1920. Helene did tatting in a hat shop, "which she hated," according to her daughter, Theo, and was later employed as a governess by some of Buffalo's wealthiest families. In 1928, she came to Santa Fe from Buffalo with the John Evans family. In New Mexico, Helene was governess to the grandchildren of Taos personality Mabel Dodge Luhan.

Helene married Paul Ruthling in Santa Fe in 1931. Their daughter was christened Theodora Doodlet Tesuque by Will Shuster. Twin boys, Carleton and Fordyce, completed the family. The marriage did not last, and Helene found herself looking for a way to support her three children.

Please see Volume 1 for complete text.
Photo ©1997 by Joanne Rijmes