Helen T. Kadlec, lover of 'all things domestic'

December 26, 2008|By Gadi Dechter

Helen Twining Kadlec, who shared her devotion to the domestic arts with both children and senior citizens, died of kidney failure Sunday at the Glen Arm farm where she was raised. She was 71.

Mrs. Kadlec was born in Baltimore and raised on a Baltimore County farm where her father and uncles were dairy farmers. The former Helen Twining graduated from Towson High School in 1955 and was the first in her family to attend college, matriculating at Western Maryland College.

She had "a love of all things domestic," said her daughter, Sarah O. Deacon of Glen Arm. Deacon said her mother would be remembered for "her enthusiasm for sewing, cooking, baking, playing piano, entertaining and caring for her family."

After receiving her bachelor's degree in home economics in 1959, Mrs. Kadlec worked for several years as an agricultural extension agent in Kent and Carroll counties. In 1960, she married Robert L. Otto of Overlea, and several years later they returned to live on the Glen Arm farm property.

Otto, a Social Security employee, died in 1972 at the age of 35, leaving Mrs. Kadlec with two young daughters.

In 1973, the widow married Kenneth E. Kadlec, a cryptologist with the National Security Agency, and raised his two sons as her own.

While bringing up her family, Mrs. Kadlec was active as a 4-H leader and at Waugh United Methodist Church in Glen Arm, where she served as choir director, Sunday school teacher and organist.

In 1989, she earned a master's degree at Towson University, specializing in nutrition.

An avid composer of plays and poetry, Mrs. Kadlec also devoted much energy to the nutrition-course lesson plans she taught for many years at Baltimore County senior citizen centers.

A funeral service will be held tomorrow at Waugh United Methodist Church.

In addition to her husband of 35 years and daughter, Mrs. Kadlec is survived by another daughter, Jennifer O. Ramirez of Afton, Va.; stepsons Kenneth E. Kadlec, Jr. and Gregory E. Kadlec, both of Glen Arm; and nine grandchildren.

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