Helen P. Vrooman, 98, longtime Bristol resident


BRISTOL — Helen P. Vrooman passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 20, 2024, after a brief illness.

Helen was born on July 14, 1925, to Ernest and Ethel Wimett. She spent her childhood on the family farm in Bridport. She graduated from Middlebury High School in 1943. She married Robert Layn and had two children, a son Daniel, and a daughter Janet. They bought a home in Bristol in 1956, which she still lived in for the next 66 years until her recent stay at Eastview in Middlebury.

Helen began her working career at the Van Raalte Company in Bristol and then took an accounting position at Robinson’s Oil Company. While working and raising her family, she attended Champlain College at night, earning her associate’s degree in Accounting and the title of the first woman to graduate from the college’s night program. Helen remained at Robinson’s for 35 years until her retirement.

In 1970, she married the love of her life, Barent Vrooman. Barry was a Mason from Libanus Lodge, and Helen was a prominent member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Together they served in and enjoyed the Masonic community for many years.

She was an avid reader with an impressive book collection and was jokingly called “The Mayor” because everywhere she went, she ran into people she knew. She loved to attend band concerts on the green, senior lunches, and the weekly “coffee klatch” with her gal pals. You could also find her on her porch during the fair-weather months enjoying “wine time”.

Her love of family knew no bounds. Helen is predeceased by her husband, Barent Vrooman; her parents, Ernest and Ethel Wimett; her sister, Doris Brisson and brother-in-law Robert Brisson; her son-in-law Asahel Hoffnagle; and step-grandson Paul Poynter.

She is survived by her son, Daniel Layn and his wife Donna, their daughter Nicole Dale and her husband Daniel (Kylie and Jack Pedersen and Rhett Dale), and their son Brett Layn and his wife Danielle (McKenna, Maleah); her daughter, Janet Hoffnagle and her daughters Danielle McMahon (Courtney and John Roettinger) and Patricia Nason and her husband Bruce Nason (Jordan and Janelle and their children, Brittany and her children, Connor); her step-son Jay Vrooman and his wife Marlene, their children Lisa Poynter (Ashley and Steven Hutchinson, and their children and Hailey and Andres Modesto and their daughter) and Mark Vrooman and his wife Eileen; her step-daughter Janice Silver, and three very precious great-great grandchildren, Rhys, Ryder and Remi.

Calling hours will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at Brown-McClay Funeral Home in Bristol. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 1, at the Bristol Federated Church. Committal will be private at a later date at the discretion of the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Addison County Home Health and Hospice, PO Box 754, Middlebury, VT 05753. ◊


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