Helva Peters
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Gary McGath
2017-08-07 11:20:26 UTC
Helva Peters died yesterday, August 6, 2017, of cancer. I got the news
from her sister, Kate.

I met her at Noreascon 3 in 1989. The first time may have been either at
a Beauty and the Beast (the TV show) program item or a filk item. When
MASSFILC was formed in the early nineties, she was a regular at the
meetings. She had a wonderful voice. Her repertoire consisted largely of
Julia Ecklar songs, which she had the voice for. She was a big fan of
Beauty and the Beast, Babylon 5, and Firefly. Her singing got onto
several Wail Songs tapes of northeast filk cons.

Her real name was Mary Schell. She used Helva in fandom partly to avoid
notice by a stalker, but that was in the nineties and is no longer an
issue in any case. The "Helva" came from Anne McCaffrey's cyborg
spaceship Helva in The Ship Who Sang.

She moved west at some point and became part of the Phoenix filk scene.
I'm told Leslie Fish was glad someone besides her regularly brought a

A few years ago she moved back east to Arlington, Mass. According to the
MASSFILC records, her first appearance in the 21st century at a meeting
was in September 2014. By this point she was dealing with Multiple
Chemical Sensitivity, aka Toxin-Induced Loss of Tolerance. There are a
lot of substances in the modern environment that caused her trouble.

In early 2015 I learned that she had Stage 4 cancer. At that point there
was a treatment she wanted that was available only in Mexico. People in
MASSFILC started talking about how to help. This led to an IndieGoGo
campaign to produce a CD of her recordings. Harold Stein did the
production, and Leslie Fish provided an album cover. We didn't have much
in the way of good recordings. Most of the tracks are from home
recordings which Virginia Taylor had made. It raised a fair amount of
money and, I hope, made some more people aware of what a good singer she

The title "It's an Adventure" comes from the sig line she always used in
her email messages.
Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
Lee Gold XP
2017-08-07 12:46:40 UTC
Post by Gary McGath
Helva Peters died yesterday, August 6, 2017, of cancer. I got the news
from her sister, Kate.
That's startling and horrifying news.

I hadn't heard anything about her illness before this, but I remember
her well from when we used to attend Boskones.