Helen Lucille (née Geneva) Harbison, 93, peacefully passed away at home on July 17, 2019. Helen was born September 3, 1925 in Freeport, Illinois to William B. Geneva and Carolyn (née Schertz) Geneva. In 1947, Helen graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) with a degree in History and a minor in English. She was a proud sorority sister of Kappa Delta at IWU. She became a stewardess for United Airlines, where she later met her husband, Air Vice-Marshal William “Paddy” Harbison RAF, CB, CBE, AFC, FBIM. With her passion for health and nutrition, she later ran her own business as a diet consultant. Helen is survived by her two sons and three grandchildren.
Helen was an avid alumnae member of IWU and went to the reunions almost every year. Her husband and other family members often accompanied her to the reunions and enjoyed the numerous homecoming events. Through the years, she kept in touch with many of her sorority sisters from Kappa Delta. She had many wonderful memories of her years as a Kappa Delta sister. Helen’s husband Paddy had the opportunity to give a lecture at one of the homecoming events, “A Pilot’s Perspective on World War II”, where he talked about his experiences as a WWII pilot for the British air force (RAF).
Helen made a digital oral history at IWU which is stored in the digital commons. Link: https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/oral_hist/26/
She talks about her time at IWU and how her sorority, Kappa Delta, gave her support and enjoyment.
Helen’s father, William B. Geneva, was also a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in 1911 and of the IWU Law School in 1917.
Helen’s family would like to thank IWU for all the wonderful reunions. She and her family loved being part of the IWU family.
Helen and William Harbison on Day of Interview
Helen (Geneva) Harbison ’47