Helen M. McLoraine
An Angel of Many
Helen M. McLoraine was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1918, the daughter of a father who created educational products and a mother who was an opera singer and philanthropist. Helen attended the University of Chicago, where she studied business. She married Frank McLoraine ("Mac"), a lawyer from Chicago, and they were long time residents of Winnetka, Illinois. Helen moved to Denver in 1985, several years after the death of her husband. She passed away in January, 2003 due to a fall while attending the U.S. Figure Skating Nationals in Dallas, Texas.
Helen was a pioneer who, in the 1950s, put on a hard hat, learned about the oil industry and broke new ground for women to assume leadership roles in business. She put to rest any doubts about women managing money when she managed many pension funds a longside her male counterparts with a very successful track record and solidified her place as a business leader.
Helen, deeply influenced by her mother's dedication to philanthropy, became a generous benefactor to others with a focus on figure skating, higher education assistance, medical research, and youth social welfare. She had a heart for small non-profit organizations with great missions and small resources. Helen was a very private person, frugal, kind and smart, who felt a serious responsibility to the community. She did not want recognition for her contributions as she believed the focus should be on the organization, rather than the donor.
Helen established The Pioneer Fund, a private family foundation, in the 1960's, to continue her lifelong tradition of support to the types of projects and organizations to which she had contributed throughout her lifetime and now through her estate.
Helen was a person who was very active and enjoyed all that life has to give. From early on in life Helen participated in crafts, swimming, drawing, weaving, music, art, golf, reading, theatre and continued on through out all of her life.
The door to Helen's apartment, which originally opened inward the way that most doors do, was changed to open out to the world. This was indicative of the way Helen embraced life and invited others to do the same. Helen passed away in January, 2003 doing one of the many things she enjoyed in life, watching young kids in figure skating rinks, working to achieve their dreams.