Farewell to Helen Brandt Cozy

Helen Brandt Cozy, former editor of Whatcom Watch, who continued to volunteer with us until her passing on May 2, is and will always be missed by the rest of us at Whatcom Watch.

Helen was born in Chicago in 1942 and grew up in the Portage Park neighborhood. She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in English and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1970, Helen married Joe Cozy and they moved to Tennessee, where Joe was a professor at Tennessee State University and Helen worked as a school psychologist in the counties around Nashville and taught at a community college there.

Helen and Joe’s daughter, Loralyn, was born in 1982 — the family of three moved to Washington in 1989, first to Mt. Vernon and then to Bellingham a year later. They chose Bellingham because Joe was ready to retire from his professor duties at TSU and they wanted to live near the ocean in a town with good schools and an ice rink (Helen was an avid figure skater).

She kept busy in Bellingham, where she tutored elementary school students in math, taught ice skating, had a native plant propagation business called “Wintergarden,” started a chamber music group for amateur adult players (she played the viola), and, of course, was committed to local journalism through Whatcom Watch

After Joe Cozy passed away, Helen moved to Bloomington, IL, to be near her daughter and family in 2015. She continued to volunteer with Whatcom Watch until her death on May 2 at age 81.

Contacted Whatcom Watch in 1996

Helen contacted Whatcom Watch in 1996, becoming a subscriber and noting that she was computer literate and could help with proofreading and editing. She wrote an article for the February 1998 issue about the Nooksack River. Her bio listed her as the owner of the Wintergarden nursery. And, in 1998, Helen edited Whatcom Watch off and on for five months, beginning in April. In 1999, Helen was the editor for all but the July issue, and, in 2000, she edited the paper from January through May, at which time Sally Hewitt became the editor. Helen and Sally shared editing duties for the rest of 2000 and again in 2001.

Sally took over as full-time editor in 2002 until June 2009. Helen continued volunteering in various positions at Whatcom Watch and wrote 18 articles for the paper.

A photographer, Helen contributed three photos in the March 1998 issue. She had a photo in the April 2000 issue and also an advertisement for career planning and educational assessment.

Helen and Loralyn had articles published in the June 2000 issue. Loralyn was listed as a senior at Sehome High School.

Over the last few years she pushed the team to put systems in place to ensure the paper was an institution that would continue on in the absence of any particular individual. Such was the importance of the paper to her!

In the end, she uploaded the paper to our whatcomwatch.org website, contacted subscribers with upcoming content, helped with proofreading, and tracked PayPal payments. We miss Helen!

Helen’s Articles in Whatcom Watch

  •  “Indian Rights Today Rest on Work of Ancestors” by Helen Brandt — September/2013 (v22/i9)
  •  “Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve” by Helen Brandt — October/November/2012 (v21i10-11)
  •  “Our Living Jewel: Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve” compiled by Helen Brandt — October/November/2012 (v21i10-11)
  •  “Increased Carbon Dioxide Affecting Washington Seawater” by Helen Brandt — October/November/2010 (v19i10-11)
  •  “Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden” by Helen Brandt — August/2010 (v19i8)
  •  “Gulf Oil: Booms and Bonanza” by Helen Brandt — July/2010 (v19i7)
  •  “Sustainable Growing for Farmers and Gardeners” by Helen Brandt — April/2009 (v18i4)
  •  “Warmer Climate for Whatcom County” by Helen Brandt — September/2008 (v17i9)
  • “Noise Pollution Threatens Bellingham” by Helen Brandt — January/2007 (v16i1)
  •  “Kentucky’s Redeveloped Waterfront Balances Commons and Commerce” by Helen Brandt — April/2006 (v15i4)
  •  “Working Conditions for Migrant Women Reminiscent of Slavery” reviewed by Helen Brandt — February/2004 (v13i2)
  •  “Where, Oh Where, Did My Money Go?” by Helen Brandt — December/2002 (v11i12)
  • “Some Thoughts on Post 9/11 America” by Helen Brandt — September/2002 (v11i9)
  •  “Landscaping Your Small Yard” by Helen Brandt — August/2002 (v11i8)
  •  “Composting Takes a New Twist: Throw-Away Dinnerware Arrives” by Helen Brant — January/2002 (v11i1)
  •  “Governor to Ponder Building a Dinosaur in Whatcom County” by Helen Brandt — December/2000 (v9i12)
  •  “Transportation Costs of Dam Breaching” by Helen Brandt — June/2000 (v9i6)
  •  “Whatcom County’s Unique Wild Chinook Salmon Termed Critical” by Helen Brandt — February/1998 (v7i2)


Compiled by Loralyn Cozy, Sally Hewitt, and Bill McCallum

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