Helen Roebling Tyson

Posted April 05, 2013, at 7:38 p.m.

MOUNT DESERT – Helen Roebling Tyson, 72, great-great-granddaughter of Johann August Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, died April 4, 2013, peacefully at her home on Mount Desert Island, after a long battle with cancer. Ms. Tyson was born Sept. 2, 1940, in Philadelphia, the daughter of Barbara (Kurtz) Tyson and Charles Roebling Tyson, son of celebrated Maine artist, Carroll S. Tyson Jr.

Ms. Tyson was educated at Springside School, Philadelphia, and Westover School, Middlebury, Conn. Ms. Tyson’s life revolved around her love of music. A piano player from the age of four, she later studied at Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia, becoming an accomplished jazz pianist and composer. She would later write music for Bobby Darin and Tommy Dorsey, among others. Ms. Tyson spent the last 20 years of her life living in Maine, especially enjoying hiking, climbing and exploring the environs of her beloved Mount Desert Island. Ms. Tyson was also a professional dog trainer and breeder of prized Labrador Retrievers and a member of SPCA of Hancock County.

Ms. Tyson is survived by son, Arthur F. Shettle II and wife, Sheila, of New York City, and their son Piet; daughter, Ann Hansen and husband, Lars, of Easton, Md., and their daughter, Kate; brother, Charles R. Tyson Jr. of Wenham, Mass.; two sisters, Barbara Iselin of Hobe Sound, Fla., and Peggy Martinez of Philadelphia; and long time friend, Jack Ledbetter, of Northeast Harbor and Albany, Ga. She was predeceased by sister, Sally Tyson Valenzuela-Bach.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, July 5, at Somesville Union Meeting House, UCC, Main Street, Mount Desert. Interment will follow at Brookside Cemetery, Somesville. Gifts in Helen’s memory may be made to SPCA of Hancock County, 141 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, ME 04605. Arrangements are by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be made at www.jordanfernald.com.

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