Helen Schmidinger Reeve, former professor and chair of the Russian studies department, passed away in Dec. 2021 at her home in Bennington, Vermont. She taught at Connecticut College from 1962–1995.
Born in 1927 in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), she grew up in Belgrade. She survived and escaped from internment during World War II, worked as a translator for the former United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and then arrived in the United States as a young bride of a U.S. soldier and German scholar, Matthew Cohen.
After her arrival in Chicago, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and a master’s and doctorate in Russian studies at Columbia University. She was married to the translator, novelist and poet FD Reeve from 1956–1982. Her teaching career spanned three decades at Connecticut College, where she became the Hanna Hafkesbrink Professor of Russian and European Studies and was appointed associate director for languages in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) in 1989. She demanded and inspired students to do their best.
She leaves three children and their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her nieces and their children and grandchildren.