Helen Plowman obituary (1930 – 2021) – Auburn, CA


Helen Kimzey Plowman
June 3, 1930 – October 19, 2021
Auburn, California resident
Helen Kimzey Plowman, an accomplished pianist and accompanist who began her musical career at the age of 6, left this earthly world in Auburn, California at the age of 91.
Helen (“Kim” for her friends), was born in San Francisco and adopted and raised by Robert “Bob” and Hazel Kimzey, in San Jose, California. She attended the Pala School and graduated from San Jose High School and San Jose State University, with degrees in music and education. Her first teaching assignment was at the Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu, Hawaii, before returning to California to teach music in many elementary and secondary schools, her position as choir and orchestra director at Peterson High School. being one of his favorites!
While she was an accompanist and coach at San Jose State, she formed a close friendship with Irene Dalis, diva of the Metropolitan Opera Company. When Miss Dalis arrived at SJS, she, Helen and Barbara Barrett started the Opera Workshop program, which is now popularly known as Opera San Jose. Before the opera company had an orchestra, Helen was the orchestra, and it was an exciting time in her musical life.
Helen and her husband, Dr. Paul D. Plowman, shared their talents in many places during their many years together, including Cool, CA, where Helen performed in the Music on the Divide concert series, and at Murphys, CA, where she was the Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church. For many years at Murphys, she produced and performed with the “Sounds of the Season” Christmas concerts at the Ironstone Winery, often featuring the Singing Nuns, as well as many other artists. She was also a founding member and Grande Dame of the LaDeDa Red Hat / Purple Dress Society at Murphys, where she had a lot of fun and laughs with her wonderful friends!
Kim and Paul also spent some time living in upstate Washington, where Kim has returned regularly to donate his musical talents and fundraising efforts to help Habitat for Humanity and the Skagit Community Concert Band.
Among the many artists she has worked with are Maestro James Guthrie, Maestro George Cleve, Irene Dalis, Jess Thomas, Gary Karr, Joan Jaques, Clement Hutchinson, Sigurd Rauscher, William Trimble, Mark Seiver and Matthew Potterton.
Helen received recognition and praise from many groups, but the most special to her were the Salvation Army, Daughters of the American Revolutionary, Foreign War Veterans, and the Distinguished Alumni Award / Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society (State of San Jose).
Adopted and raised as an only child, she knew she had a biological older sister, and she was lucky to find her (Evelyn Medeiros), along with a younger brother (Ed Freyslaben) and another sister (Sandy Spiterri ) that she was not aware of. They became great friends, and it added immense pleasure and joy to her already busy life.
Helen was predeceased by her late husband, Paul Plowman. She had four children with her first husband, Daniel G. Peterson (divorced / deceased): Erik (Nancy), Ingrid (Tom Carter), Daniel A., & Nels (Toni), two step-sons, Glen Plowman (Shawn ), Bruce Plowman (Kristen) and a group of granddaughters.
His friends and family will miss his immense energy, his mischievous demeanor, his happy birthday phone calls with vocal and piano serenades, his friendly nature with strangers and his uncanny ability to make friends and always find a common bond. with everyone she has met, as well as her fighting spirit. to advocate for the little guy.
Her family is grateful for the support and love she has felt from all of her friends, with personal visits, cards and phone calls, as well as the exceptional staff at Auburn Oaks Care Center, who have provided tremendous care and support over the past 8 years.
In order for Helen’s love for music and her advocacy for the musical education of our young people to continue, the family is asking that instead of flowers, memories be made at Sierra Strings Music School, 24216 White Fir Drive, Twain Harte, CA, 95383.
“They still live on earth in the acts of kindness they performed and in the hearts of those who cherish their memory.”
The family is planning a private memorial.

See the online memorial for Helen Kimzey Plowman

Published by The Mercury News on December 15, 2021.


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