helen dennis,helen drawing

Helen Derechin: Remembering a Remarkable Life and Contributions

Born in Changzhou, China, in May 1996, Helen Meilin Derechin was a Chinese adoptee who left a lasting influence on everyone she came into contact with.

She sadly passed away in January 2024 from natural causes, leaving her friends, family, and community grieving.

Helen’s trip from Changzhou to Minneapolis, where in June 1997 she met her forever family, served as an example of the international reach and power of love.

Growing up in Minneapolis, Helen was well-liked by the local Chinese and Jewish populations. Throughout her academic career, she was a dedicated student at St. Paul Academy (SPA), and she eventually earned the highest honours in biology from Augsburg University.

5 Facts About Helen Meilin Derechin

Birthplace and Adoption: Helen Meilin Derechin was adopted in June 1997, and she was reunited with her permanent family in Changzhou, China, where she was born in May 1996.
Academic Accomplishments: Helen finished her studies at Augsburg University with the highest honours in biology, demonstrating her commitment to science.
Career Path: Helen’s work as a scientist in medical technology is indicative of her dedication to advancing the medical domain.
Diverse Interests: Helen’s life was a tapestry of many passions and interests, ranging from Chinese dance performances to backpacking trips and social justice advocacy.
Love and Compassion: Helen left behind a legacy of love, compassion, and a commitment to improving the lives of others that endures today via her family, friends, and the many organisations she sponsored.

Helen’s passion for science brought her to a fulfilling career in medical technology research. Her goal was to use her career in medicine to improve the lives of children.

Outside of her work life, Helen led a vibrant and active lifestyle. She loved singing, baking, travelling, and being a nanny. Her sunny disposition was tempered by layers of warmth from her love for her role as big sister to Leora and her cherished dog, Ty.

Helen’s hobbies ranged widely, from travel and interior design to spicy food and garlic. Especially in Costa Rica, she enjoyed the sensation of the sun on her face.

She was really thrilled to be dining with pals at restaurants like Raku and Kim’s. Helen was not just an adventurer; she was also a fervent advocate for adoptee rights and social justice.

Helen characterised her profound bond with childrearing as a wellspring of heartfelt happiness. Her commitment to her younger sister Leora and her involvement with Red Thread Charities were evidence of her determination to positively impact the lives of children both locally and globally.

Helen Derechin Cause Of Death

Natural causes caused Helen Meilin Derechin’s death in January 2024. Nevertheless, the precise cause of her death is not made public knowledge. It’s possible that the family decided to keep this information confidential.

Memorable experiences that shaped her life were Chinese dance and musical theatre performances, backcountry treks, and her involvement with CAAM-CDT, E3, and Children’s Theatre Company, all of which had an effect on those in her immediate vicinity.

Beatrice Rothweiler and Neil Derechin, Helen’s parents, Leora Derechin, her sister, and Helen’s extended family are all in grief for Helen.

William Derechin and George Rothweiler, Helen’s grandfathers, passed away before she did, but her grandmothers, Haddie Derechin and Therese Rothweiler, as well as a large number of aunts, uncles, cousins, and devoted friends, continue Helen’s legacy.

The family asks that donations be given in lieu of flowers to the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, charities that support underprivileged kids, Camp Widjiwagan, CAAM-CDT, or a donor of their choice.

On Thursday, February 1st, at 7:00 PM, there will be a Shiva in the community room at 2221 Youngman Ave., St. Paul. On Thursday, February 15th, at 1:00 PM, there will be a memorial/celebration of life. Burial will take place at Lakewood Cemetery Chapel, 3600 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

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