Helen Brandhorst Krumboltz
  • 90 years old
  • Date of birth: Jun 15, 1923
  • Place of birth:
    Missouri, United States
  • Date of passing: Feb 28, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    San Francisco, California, United States
In honor of our dear mom, "momma-boo," Helen, "Hex" -- We will love you forever.

This memorial website was created in memory of Helen Brandhorst Krumboltz, 90, born on June 15, 1923 and passed away on February 28, 2014. She will always be in our hearts.

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Ann Krumboltz on 3rd March 2015

"For Mama, One Year Hence

Oh, Mama, wherever you are...
May you be at peace
May you know the love your daughters feel
May you understand all that may have troubled you on earth

We hope you are in a place where your best qualities are tapped
Where your talents and sensibilities soar, inspire and transcend
Where you can convey your love to those of us who are still here

We will never forget how the "mama lioness" in you made sure your daughters were cared for
How you paid attention to all aspects of our lives
How much you cared for nature, progressive politics and those you held close
How you let art, your career and other interests also define you

You left a legacy for us, your daughters  
I hope you see your impact on us and that we honor that dedication.

Your eldest,  Annie"

This tribute was added by Mary Douglass on 28th February 2015

"Holding Helen close in my heart forever.  Loving her, Jenny and Annie on this day and always."

This tribute was added by Jenny Somerville on 28th February 2015

"Thinking of momma boo who left us a year ago. She'll always be in my heart."

This tribute was added by Mary Douglass on 12th April 2014

♥ I met Mrs. K. in 1968 when I was 6 years old, as Jenny was in my class, and my father had just become a professor at Stanford, where she and Mr. K. were also professors.
♥ Since then Mrs. K has been my favorite “second mother.”
♥ Her girls Jenny and Annie are like sisters to me.
♥ As a child my parents and I loved going to the Krumboltz home which was like a dream playhouse for kids…old fashioned player piano, Velcro dart game, zebra rug, comfy living room, great play yard…games like being blindfolded and lead around the house, guessing where you were, etc…
♥ Our families were VERY close and often got together at each other’s homes for dinners & long evenings.  I loved Mrs. K’s cooking and sitting at their big dining table.  I will always remember the games we played after dinner, sitting in their comfy living room.  Games like “dictionary” and “charades.”  Games my husband and I play with our kids and their friends/families when they come over, and always talk about my memories of evenings at the Krumboltzes as a child, and how those memories taught me to be a better host to families who come to visit us with their kids.
♥ As I got older, I would talk to Mrs. K about personal challenges (like boyfriend issues) I was having that I could not talk to anyone else about.  She would always listen non-judgmentally, calmly, and with great empathy and understanding.
♥ Mrs. K had such a sense of humor and fun.  All the time.  I loved her collection of fun knick knacks, her laughter and enjoyment of them.
♥ Mrs. K. was a very smart and progressive thinker.  I learned a lot from her in the 1970‘s and beyond about “Women’s Lib” and enjoyed reading all of her books.
♥I I have a developmentally disabled older brother.  When he was a teenager, he was in danger of being kicked out of a sheltered workshop that my parents thought was great for him, due to behavioral issues.  Mrs. K designed a behavior modification program for him, met with the Director, and it WORKED.  The Director has remained in contact ever since with my family, even though my brother moved and left the workshop 15 years ago.
♥ Mrs. K made me feel so happy inside every time I saw her.
♥ Mr. and Mrs. K raised two of the most wonderful women I have or ever will know.
♥ Mrs. K will be in the most joyful part of my heart for as long as I live."

This tribute was added by Bruce Brandhorst on 8th April 2014

"The first specific memory I have of Helen was attending her wedding, where she made me feel like quite the special guest. The wedding was held in her parent's home on Gore Ave. in Webster Groves, MO, which still stands little changed with its big front yard (croquet court), elaborate  back garden, and the play house that her father Otto Brandhorst built with and for his children.  I suspect Helen spent long hours in that elegant little house.  From many visits for sleepovers with my grandparents I have a sense of what Helen experienced as she grew up in that house:  summer evenings eating dinner on lawn chairs in the garden (trying to ignore the mosquitoes), hunting for toads and moths around the gold fish pond, drinking cream soda from the Nashville IL bottling plant where August Brandhorst had worked, and eating grandmother Eunice's (thawed, hard as rocks) molasses cookies with ice cream or aunts Meta and Alvina's apple butter on toast.  

Helen and John Krumboltz were married by Helen's mentor Nate Kohn, a psychologist and ordained minister.  Nate became a close friend of my father Bill Brandhorst, Helen's brother, and we spent many weekends with the Kohn's at their farms in the Ozarks.  Coincidentally, Nate was a Soldan High School buddy of my mother Emilie's brother Jack.

Helen's career in psychology took her away from St. Louis, but I always enjoyed her visits home.  When I did graduate work in San Diego, I started visiting Helen in Palo Alto.  During that period I as an adult got to know her as a friend.  We talked a lot about her mother, whom I knew to be kind and loving but quite demanding.  As a psychologist, Helen was analytical about her sometimes strained relationship with her mother and prone to comparing her own parenting style with that of her mother (often concluding that she was repeating the same things in spite of her intention not to).  There were indeed some similarities between Helen and her mother Eunice, but I doubt that Eunice had the deep introspective and analytical insights that Helen had about herself and her family.  And I don't remember Helen's ironic sense of humour and appreciation of silly puns in her mother.  Moreover, Helen had an adventurous, sometimes rebellious, spirit and a liberal mind, quite different from her mother.  In any case, Eunice and Helen both raised thoughtful, engaged children who were inspired by nature and a sense of duty to the world, so both got parenting mostly right (with some help from their husbands).

Helen and I shared some common experience as Ph.D.'s working in universities.  More than any other relative, I could talk to her about the strange and demanding world of academia.  On my first visit to Palo Alto, when I was a beginning graduate student, Helen and John kindly invited me to attend a New Years holiday party they threw for their departmental colleagues.  It was certainly not what I was expecting.  There was an extended game of war that involved running around the house and yard shooting one another with dart guns and dramatic death scenes.  The guests got very excited about the game and took it quite seriously (probably releasing professional aggressions built up over the year).  For me, this was a different vision of academic life than I had imagined, and it made me feel a little more comfortable about my career choice (though I have never attended another party of academics remotely similar to that one).  

I sure will miss Helen.
Bruce Brandhorst, oldest nephew"

This tribute was added by Ann Krumboltz on 3rd April 2014

"Helen Krumboltz was a dear friend of mine for over 45 years.  She continues to live in my heart and will do so to the day that I die.  

Our family moved to Stanford in 1968 to a house on campus that happened to be on the cul-de-sac (Lathrop Place) next to the Krumboltz's (Valdez Place).  Jenny Krumboltz, then about nine years old and Alex's and my nine year old daughter Mary quickly met walking to school and fell into animated conversations that led to a pleasant friendship.  A close friendship among all members of the two families soon ensued that deepened over the years until it was disrupted by the Krumboltz's divorce and in 2006 by my husband Alex's death.

I also have reason to be forever appreciative of Helen's professional skills:  after all other efforts had failed, she managed to obtain admission to a workshop for Alex's and my prematurely-borm developmentally disabled son Lee.  After conferring with the workshop manager and staff, she suggested a behavior modification program based on rewards that she devised for him.  It worked.  Lee settled down and became one of their best workers of twenty years.

Today the Krumboltz daughters, Mary and I have a close bond that feels that we belong to the same family.  Helen will always be a central presence in, and inspiration of, our continuing two-family lifelong friendship.  Aways, Julie George"

This tribute was added by Ann Krumboltz on 31st March 2014

"We are so sorry that we cannot attend the 18th as we will be in chapel
hill, north carolina with vivian and family.  But we did want to tell you what fond memories we have of the "old days" shortly after we came to Stanford.

The K's and O's came in 1961; the Gages in 1965 and the Georges somewhere around the same time.  The four families created a bit of a clique with dinners at each others houses.  Our gatherings were memorable with camaraderie and lots of laughter.  We each had children who knew each other.....but after an initial finding out what was with each of them we went on with other topics of conversation.  We were all young so did not have to discuss various organ malfunctions, which would be the case in later years.  Helen was always upbeat and may have tried some behavior mod on
us...but at that time we did not need too much change.  Now those of us who are left probably need a lot of change. Because John, Nate and I were in the school of education, there were other occasions when we got together with others from the school, so the K's were a big part of our lives, and will not be forgotten.

Our best
Ingram & Anita"

This tribute was added by Annie Gage on 31st March 2014

"Helen, aka Mrs. K, was one of our cul-de-sac moms. She got us outside to play red light, green light, she invited us inside to eat popcorn and Pillsbury orange rolls, and she kept in touch for decades.
She and my mom were walking partners in the 70s. In the 90s, one of my co-workers told me what an influence Helen had had on her sister in a class at Stanford, where Helen encouraged young women to be strong and assertive.
Long prior to marriage equality, in 1989, Helen came to my commitment ceremony and welcomed my partner Barbara into her world.
After my parents died, she made sure I knew that someone from their generation (her) still loved and cared about me.
Helen brought my one and only lifelong friend,  Annie K., into the world.
Thank you, Helen for your love, strength, and daughters!"

This tribute was added by Bill Harrison on 22nd March 2014

"I am thinking of Helen so often these days.  It's been three weeks now since she passed away.  I feel so blessed to have had such an open, loving, and uncomplicated relationship with her.  I got to know her when Jenny and I first became friends in high school.  Over the years my relationship with her grew into a deep and loving friendship.  We always brought out the best in each other.  We shared so many stories and we laughed a lot.  I can still see so vividly her direct, clear, and confident eye contact. Though she had a certain formality about her, even a regal quality, as a friend recently said, she was also a free spirit.  I posted five pictures from a spontaneous road trip she took with friends through Mexico in the summer of 1949.  Her calm, confident, and graceful presence shines in these pictures.  The openness and youthful curiosity she shows in these images stayed with her through to her final days.  Thank you Helen for so enriching my life."

This tribute was added by Ann Krumboltz on 10th March 2014

"If Mom was here, she would want to offer a special note of gratitude for the staff at the San Francisco Sequioas who gave their skill, warmth and dedication to our Mom in the last chapter of her life.  

Make no mistake about it: these people are the angels among us.  Thank you, Sequoias staff.  

In awe of you,  Jenny (-boo) and Annie (-boo)"

This tribute was added by Ann Krumboltz on 10th March 2014

"Oh, Mama...

Thank you for loving us so!  You were a force of nature and your daughters are stronger because of it.  

We will never forget how you:

*  exposed us to art, dance, and music lessons, driving us all over creation to make sure that exposure happened when we were kids;
*  instilled a love of foreign travel, foreign cultures, and a passion for great U.S. landscapes;
*  remembered all our friends' names and loved so many of them like your own;
*  conveyed your vast passion of nature, especially that of animals; and
*  reminded us that the world needs our charity and compassion.

Last of all, I will never forget how you were always happy to hear your daughter's voices and our stories, no matter how big or insignificant.  
I can't imagine being loved more profoundly."

This tribute was added by Jenny Somerville on 9th March 2014

"Momma-boo -- thank you for showing me how to conquer the end of life with grace, humor and strength. You will be missed by many and I will love you always."

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This memorial is administered by:

Ann Krumboltz
Jenny Somerville


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