Helen Ratner

Obituary of Helen Ratner

After a life well-lived, Helen Silverstein Ratner passed away on August 18th at age 94.

Born November 10, 1927, she was a woman ahead of her time who, through her intelligence and perseverance was able to accomplish much and leave an indelible mark on anyone who knew her.

Mrs. Ratner, as she was known to her many students of Biology, graduated from Wellesley College Phi Beta Kappa in 1948, and went on to receive a Masters of Education from Teachers College at Columbia. While living in New York, she taught and was a guidance counselor at Bayside High School, she was the Chairman of Biology at Bryant High School and then head of the Science Department at The Nightingale-Bamford School. She was especially proud of her work teaching advanced placement biology and the successes of her students. Her teaching career touched many young minds and hearts.

Her energy and acumen were unmatchable. She became a self-taught financial manager for herself and her family, managed her husband’s medical practice, and kept active through tennis, golf, bridge, daily walks, travel and trips to the theater, opera and ballet.

She grew up in Flushing New York, where she raised her family. She retired to Woodridge Lake in Goshen, Connecticut and Boca Raton in Florida. During her later years she lived at Harbour’s Edge in Delray Beach and most recently at Plymouth Harbor in Sarasota, Florida.

Frank Ratner was the love of her life, who she married at 19 and was her soulmate until his death in 1998. She is survived by her three children Lee Ratner, Rebecca (Beth) Lyons and Jill Ratner, their spouses David, Joel and Andrea, 9 grandchildren Michael, Andrew, Naomi, Sam, Jennifer, Nicole, Stephen, Jane Alyce, and Monica, their spouses, and 16 great-grandchildren. She will be missed by all, but will live in our hearts and memories.

Funeral services will be graveside at Sons of Jacob Cemetery in Torrington, CT.

For information please contact Phalen Funeral Home in Torrington: 860-489-9600.

The family will sit Shiva at Jill’s home in Katonah, NY the week of August 21st. For Shiva information, contact Bet Torah at (914) 666-7595. Shiva will be outdoors weather permitting and daily evening Minyan can be accessed by zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/_794265140

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations in her memory be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice

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