Helen Keene Oettinger

Helen Keene Oettinger

KNOX — Helen Keene Oettinger was a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who loved to garden, paint, and travel.

She died peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland. She was 96.

Helen was born to Charles and Josephine Keene of Syracuse, New York. She was a graduate of Syracuse University where she also met her husband, Fred Oettinger.

“Helen loved her family, friends, and living in the Hilltown of Knox,” her family wrote in a tribute. “She was a great mom to three children — Fred, Kate, and Jim — and a loving wife to Fred W. Oettinger for 69 years. Helen resided at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center for the past five years where she was well cared for and loved by those who knew her.

“Helen loved to garden. She helped run a Christmas tree farm for 27 years with her husband, Fred, and loved to spend time in the Adirondacks and travel. Florida was her second home for many years along with truck-camper travel across the United States. Helen especially loved Cape Cod and the Northeastern coastline.

“She painted with a local instructor for many years and continued painting until Alzheimer’s took away her ability to paint. Her sense of humor, even in the throes of Alzheimer’s, was quick and always done with kindness. Helen was a founding member of the Knox Historical Society and served on its board of directors.


Helen Keene Oettinger is survived by her sister, Charlotte Behr, and her husband, Mike, of Syracuse and by her three married children, Fred and Lisa Oettinger of Penobscot, Maine, Kate (née Oettinger) and Rob Hahn of Schoharie, and Jim Oettinger and Lynn O’Brien of Mystic, Connecticut.

She is also survived by five grandchildren, Fred Oettinger and his wife, Rachel, of Salem, New Hampshire, Nick Oettinger and his wife, Brittany, of Winterport, Maine, Keenen Hahn and his wife, Kirstie, of Knox, Ben Oettinger and his wife, Kaylei, of Colchester, Connecticut, Brian Oettinger and his mother, Gail Oettinger, of Oakdale, Connecticut, and by four great-grandchildren, Chase and Emery Oettinger of Winterport, Maine, and Hayden and Hudson Hahn of Knox. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Fred W. Oettinger, died before her.

A celebration of life will be held privately at a later date.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

“The family greatly appreciates the kindness extended during this time,” the tribute said. “We especially want to thank all of the kind people that interacted with and cared for Helen while she was at Our Lady of Mercy.”



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