Biography: Helen Morgan Tomlinson was a caring wife, mother, stepmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, and dear friend to so many, God decided to pick another flower from His garden on June 3, 2021.
Helen was born to the Late Columbus Morgan and Gwendolyn Chatman Morgan in New York City on September 9, 1951. She was raised in Harlem, New York where she attended the New York City Public Schools. She graduated from George Washington High School in 1969. In 1972, she earned her certification from Fordham University as a Lincoln Center Exchange Student. Continuing her studies, Helen received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Talladega College in 1973 as well as her Master of Arts Degree in Teacher Education/ESL from Hunter College, City University of New York.
Helen met and married her beloved husband, Dorrell Tomlinson on November 5, 1994. To this union, one child was born, Daria Gwendolyn Tomlinson.
Helen worked for Bell Atlantic, now known as Verizon, for over 25 years as an Administrative Assistant in Engineering and Operator Services until she retired. She also worked for many years, simultaneously, for the New York City Department of Education as a dedicated Adult Education Teacher. She taught part-time Adult G.E.D. and English as a Second Language at Fashion Industries High School. Over the last 5 years she worked for the Human Resources Administration in the Bronx doing what she did best, smiling, talking, laughing, and taking care of everyone.
Helen was a dedicated member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) Eta Omega Chapter, Bronx, NY. She was initiated in that chapter in 1976 where she lovingly served in many leadership positions including Chapter President 1989 and 1990. Because of her extraordinary service in AKA, she was honored with many awards and recognitions which included receiving status as a Silver Star and Life member.
Helen was a dedicated and active member of The Abyssinian Baptist Church and so fondly cherished the friendship she had with Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III. She served until her passing as a long-time member of the Welcome & Hospitality Ministry. She also served for many years as a member of the Progressive Ladies Usher Board under the leadership of Cleopatra Reddick and Esther McCall. Additionally, in the early 1970s, she taught in the church After School Program.
Helen, affectionately known as, “Cat Mama,” could talk to you for hours and have you rolling in laughter the entire time. She could find humor in any circumstance life could bring. Helen had a smile that was contagious and loved. She always dressed beautifully and was the life of the party. She was fluent in Spanish which made her even more profound. Some of her favorite past times were shopping, dressing fancy, and eating pizza. Helen will always be remembered most as a woman of her own words or slang; a language her family and friends learned and understood quite well. Some of her best known popular coined expressions were: “Cat Mama,” “Cat Daddy”, “Refrain”, “Defunct”. “Pickney”, “Crawler”, “Black Pearl”, “Soon Come”, “Funds,” “Make a Transaction,” and “Severe/Severely,” “Escape”, and “Phony Wrap,” just to name a few.
Now you have your “Angel Wings” and will Rest in God’s Eternal Arms of Love. She fulfilled her life’s purpose…Job well done!
Helen leaves to cherish her loving memory, her husband of 26 years, Dorrell Tomlinson, one daughter, Daria Tomlinson, one brother Jerry Morgan, one sister-in-law Mattie Folks, one niece Niambi Morgan-Bey (Rasheed), two great nieces Ashai Bey, Samaiyah Bey, one great nephew, Rasheed Bey (RJ), one god brother Vonnie Williams [Kim], one goddaughter Ashley Flannagan-Brown, four long-time friends Karen Flannagan and Gloria Lessington, Judy Thomas, Harriet Gladden (Ms. G), and a host of brothers-in-law, step children, nieces, nephews, cousins, sorority sisters, family, and friends.