Helen Axtell Mowry
Helen Axtell Mowry, professor emerita of biology, died August 21, 1994, in Kingston, Mass. She was 98.
Helen joined the Skidmore faculty in 1920, when she was 24 years old, to teach biology and zoology. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University’s Pembroke College for women, she also earned an M.A. from Brown and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University. She spent her entire 45-year teaching career at Skidmore.
Denton Crocker, who joined the biology faculty in 1960, recalled that Helen’s dissertation on the mutualistic protozoans in the digestive tract (of goats, he thought) was very meticulously done; he used to refer to it in his classes. Her colleagues sometimes said they didn’t know where she found time to do research, since her teaching loads were heavy and she also served as a dormitory head resident. Noting that, in her day, research was not required of faculty, “and in fact was frowned upon by some,” Denton said Helen’s real strength was “her love of teaching and her great affection for students, many of whom she followed for years after their graduation.”
A member of Sigma Delta Epsilon and Phi Gamma Mu, Helen retired in 1965 and remained in Saratoga Springs, serving as an usher at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in the summers. She maintained her robust energy and bright intellect well into her later years.
Her survivors are unknown.