Resident Spotlight: Helen McColl


Posted by Kia Crawford on August 4th, 2014 in Alpharetta, GA | No Comments

Where was I born?

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama in an orphanage and a total of four (4) foster homes.

Some of my favorite memories from childhood are:

I don’t have a lot of good memories due to the circumstances, however those I do recall are:085

  • Train rides from Birmingham to Indianapolis, particularly dining in the dining car.
  • Vaudeville shows in Indianapolis.
  • Skipping grades in school. I graduated from high school at the age of 15 years.

Some of my favorite memories from adulthood are:

  • Finding out I was pregnant for the very 1st time after trying for so many years.
  • I loved being a stay-at-home mom doing arts and crafts and cooking demonstrations. Raising three girls.
  • Working at the Warner Robbins AFB as an illustrator.

My Profession(s) were:

  • Worked in the telephone company in accounting as a draftsman.
  • Illustrator for the Commanding General at Warner Robbins AFB.
  • Homemaker.
  • I became famous in my field later when I developed a program and taught fire protection in seminars to engineers to enable them to design systems for fire protection. The product was Halon. I traveled America, Europe and Canada. I moved to San Francisco for three years then made an offer to take the program to the Middle East so I spent three months there just to see if I could and I liked it. Returned and moved to Milwaukee, then to Atlanta.

U.S. Historical event memories:

  • Kennedy’s assassination. I had worked on his political campaign.
  • 9/11 – very emotional time for me.

The accomplishments I feel most proud of would be:

  • Teaching myself to design Halon systems and becoming well-known as the only woman to do so.
  • Starting a house plant business, growing houseplants and selling them to individuals, garden clubs, and commercial establishments.

The lessons I have learned in life to share with someone just graduating college…

Is to be true to yourself and don’t let anyone stop you from living your dream.

What I have learned in life and wish to share with someone just starting a family…

Is to stay home with your children when they are young prior to starting school.

I chose Dogwood Forest of Alpharetta because…

My children convinced me that it was where I needed to be. The location was best for them.

I enjoy Dogwood Forest as my home because…

Of the socialization, Bridge club and other mind-challenging games.

My favorite part of living at Dogwood is…

Meeting new people and being involved in outings. I introduce myself to everyone.

My best friend at Dogwood is…

Sandy Lloyd.