Entered By: QI Staff
March 25, 2013
Date of Passing: September 9, 2012
Past International President Helen Turk Passes Away
Quota International has learned of the death of Past International President Helen Turk, who passed away on September 9, 2012, in Dover, New Hampshire, U.S.A. She was 92 years old. Helen served as International President from 1973 to 1974. Her presidential theme was “Growth—Our First Imperative.”
Helen was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on June 9, 1920, the daughter of Andrew and Stephanie Plevel. Professionally, Helen worked as a buyer for Estee Lauder, Merle Norman, and Saks Fifth Avenue and owned her own business at a very young age.
Helen first joined Quota in 1952 when, as she wrote, “Ethel Saw of the Quota Club of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a member of the Quota Club International board of Directors, targeted Monessen, Pennsylvania, my home town, for a new Quota Club. Bessie Preston, Dean of Girls of Monessen High School was her contact person. Bessie called me to tell me about this wonderful organization which would soon be added to the local community roster. She explained that the membership was limited to one woman per classification, the focus of the group being community service with emphasis on service to girls. Of course I was flattered, but I was still calling Bessie Preston “Miss Preston.” I asked, “What qualifies me to become a member of this distinguished group?” She said, “Being the director of a design department of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh indeed qualifies you.” As her career moved her about, Helen later transferred her membership to Quota clubs in Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles, California; and finally, San Jose, California, U.S.A., in Quota’s 12th District. Helen was particularly proud of her 40 years of perfect Quota club attendance.
A devoted friend of Quota International Founder Wanda Frey Joiner, Helen was with Wanda when she passed away in June of 1968. Later, in 1997, Helen wrote a book about Wanda’s life, A Symphony of Life: The Story of Wanda Frey Joiner, Founder of Quota, donating proceeds to the Wanda Frey Joiner Development Fund. In addition, Helen donated some memorabilia owned by Wanda Frey Joiner to the Quota International headquarters office where it remains on display.
Funeral services were held in San Jose, California, with entombment with her daughter, Helen M. Turk, who predeceased her. She is survived by her sister, a niece, and a nephew.