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Helen Elaine Spradling Olschowka ’45

Helen Elaine Spradling Olschowka ’45, April 29, 2005, in East Gridley, California, following a short illness. Helen received a bachelor's degree from Reed in mathematics, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and earned an MA in mathematics, and a secondary teaching credential, from UC Berkeley in 1946. She taught school in Fort Bragg before moving to Gridley, where she met and married Alfred Olschowka. They had two sons. Helen taught mathematics in the local high school, and transitioned to school counseling. She was instrumental in the formation of Butte Community College in 1969, part of the original staff and faculty, and first to be granted professor emeritus status when she retired in 1989. She taught mathematics, and her counseling position grew to be that of coordinator of counseling and advising for the college. Olschowka was involved with the Gridley Friends of the Library, the A.A.U.W., and the Butte County Retired Teachers Association. She received the lifetime achievement award from the Gridley Chamber of Commerce in 1993. She was also active in parish work for Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Survivors include her sons, four grandchildren, and a sister. Her husband died in 1994.

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2005

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