Discussion:
Hellen, Lady Joseph, first wife of the Rt Hon Sir Keith Joseph, CH, PC (1918-94)
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Kathi
2003-09-05 15:05:24 UTC
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On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 09:27:49 GMT, David Samuel Barr
Hellen was a close friend of my mother, starting during their childhood
on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. After Hellen settled in England,
the friendship between them and the respective families they raised
continued through regular correspondence and occasional transatlantic
visits.
<snip>

Thank you for sharing your personal observations. It adds so much more
than a printed obituary can ever tell.
Robert Feigel (aka Bob)
2003-09-05 22:13:04 UTC
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On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 09:27:49 GMT, David Samuel Barr
On my first visit to England with my parents, we lunched with all the
Josephs at their home, and then James & Emma took my sister & me to the
Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall; in keeping with Proms tradition,
we stood outside the hall all afternoon in order to get front railing
spots on the main floor (where there is no seating; you stand for the
whole concert--it's like a classical music mosh pit, although the
musicians don't dive into the crowd to be passed around).
That is something I've always wanted to do but, alas, never have. So I
content myself with tuning into the last night on television each
year, apologising once again to my wife, closing the door and singing
along at the top of my voice ... badly. As my father said when someone
made an unkind comment about his singing in church, "If you can't sing
good, sing loud!" It would be so much more fun surrounded by other
fanatics whose voices would, hopefully, drown mine out.
In the last few years we hadn't heard from Hellen, even for my parents'
50th anniversary a year ago, which was rather surprising. I note that
the obituary doesn't mention a cause of death or any comments about her
pre-mortem health (and in fact just guesses at her age); we had assumed
that her recent silence was a result of her being incapable of communicating,
from either severe physical illness and/or Alzheimer's or similar mental
impairment, about which she characteristically would not have wanted
anyone outside her immediate family to know. I'd long had a feeling
that if this were the case, our next news about her would eventually
come in an obituary, and it looks like I was right.
My wife had a dear, close friend of whom we saw little after our
marriage because her husband didn't approve of me and made it
uncomfortably obvious (could it have been my singing?). They also kept
in touch over the years, but then, shortly after a move, the
communication dried up. A year later, my wife got a phone call from
her friend to explain she had an inoperable brain tumour and not long
to live.

Naturally, my wife was extremely upset and we planned a visit the very
next week. Unfortunately, her friend took a sudden turn for the worst
and was unable to receive visitors. That and several subsequent visits
were cancelled for similar reasons and my wife's friend died without
that final meeting.

Thankfully, she has many fond and loving memories of her friendship
and can remember her friend as she was before her illness.

b

"When weaving nets, all threads count." - Charlie Chan

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c***@gmail.com
2016-11-04 23:03:27 UTC
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Hellen, Lady Joseph, who died at her home, 21 August, 2003, aged circa
71/72, was the strong minded first wife of Sir Keith Joseph, MP,
(1918-94), the former Conservative Secretary of State for Education
and would-be Tory leader.
She was credited with having great influence over her husband - and
she persuaded him to stand aside in the Conservative party leadership
battle which saw Margaret Thatcher elected leader of the party.
Sculptress Hellen Louise Guggenheimer, was the daughter of Sigmar
Guggenheimer, of a wealthy US banking family, from New York, and she
met the young Sir Keith Joseph, 2nd Baronet, a co-founder of the Bovis
construction concern and son of a Lord Mayor of London, at a tea party
in London in 1951.
They wed in July, 1951 and the marriage produced four children, James
(now 3rd Baronet), Emma, Julia and Anna.
Sir Keith (he inherited his baronetcy in 1944) was elected Tory MP for
North East Leeds in 1956. He entered the Government of Harold
Macmillan in 1959 as a junior Housing Minister, and joined the Heath
Govt in 1970 as Social Services Secretary.
After standing down in the race against Margaret Thatcher she gave him
a Shadow Cabinet post in 1975, and he soon became Mrs T's right-hand
policy man, responsible for the drafting and presentation of major
documents that shaped the party's thinking at the May 1979 General
Election.
With the return of the Tories to power in 1979 Sir Keith became
Secretary of State for Industry. He was given the education portfolio
two years later, and remained a key figure in the Thatcher
administration until he retired in 1987.
In March, 1978, it was announced that the Josephs had decided to
separate, but it was not until 1985 that the marriage was finally
dissolved.
Keith Joseph was created a life peer in 1987, two years after his
divorce from Hellen.
--
Michael Rhodes.
Hi all,
Michael-I am so excited to have found this thread! I am investigating my family tree. My Great-great-Grandmother and her daughter- my great grandmother Marie Chevillet (1899) of France were apparently employed as Helen's governess. The story we have traced states that she was a governess for Helen in France, and came to America with her in that position. They did not stay employed with Helen too long after their arrival, as my great-great grandmother became ill (I believe with cervical cancer) and Marie left the post as well to care for her. Have you heard any of this or can you direct me to anyone who might be able to help?
I really appreciate it!!
Thanks!
Crystal
1***@gmail.com
2017-02-21 14:56:49 UTC
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Post by c***@gmail.com
Hellen, Lady Joseph, who died at her home, 21 August, 2003, aged circa
71/72, was the strong minded first wife of Sir Keith Joseph, MP,
(1918-94), the former Conservative Secretary of State for Education
and would-be Tory leader.
She was credited with having great influence over her husband - and
she persuaded him to stand aside in the Conservative party leadership
battle which saw Margaret Thatcher elected leader of the party.
Sculptress Hellen Louise Guggenheimer, was the daughter of Sigmar
Guggenheimer, of a wealthy US banking family, from New York, and she
met the young Sir Keith Joseph, 2nd Baronet, a co-founder of the Bovis
construction concern and son of a Lord Mayor of London, at a tea party
in London in 1951.
They wed in July, 1951 and the marriage produced four children, James
(now 3rd Baronet), Emma, Julia and Anna.
Sir Keith (he inherited his baronetcy in 1944) was elected Tory MP for
North East Leeds in 1956. He entered the Government of Harold
Macmillan in 1959 as a junior Housing Minister, and joined the Heath
Govt in 1970 as Social Services Secretary.
After standing down in the race against Margaret Thatcher she gave him
a Shadow Cabinet post in 1975, and he soon became Mrs T's right-hand
policy man, responsible for the drafting and presentation of major
documents that shaped the party's thinking at the May 1979 General
Election.
With the return of the Tories to power in 1979 Sir Keith became
Secretary of State for Industry. He was given the education portfolio
two years later, and remained a key figure in the Thatcher
administration until he retired in 1987.
In March, 1978, it was announced that the Josephs had decided to
separate, but it was not until 1985 that the marriage was finally
dissolved.
Keith Joseph was created a life peer in 1987, two years after his
divorce from Hellen.
--
Michael Rhodes.
Hi all,
Michael-I am so excited to have found this thread! I am investigating my family tree. My Great-great-Grandmother and her daughter- my great grandmother Marie Chevillet (1899) of France were apparently employed as Helen's governess. The story we have traced states that she was a governess for Helen in France, and came to America with her in that position. They did not stay employed with Helen too long after their arrival, as my great-great grandmother became ill (I believe with cervical cancer) and Marie left the post as well to care for her. Have you heard any of this or can you direct me to anyone who might be able to help?
I really appreciate it!!
Thanks!
Crystal
Lady Hellen's sister Ruth Guggenheimer Cohnstein passed away on 11-02-2016 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
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