Helen L. Christy, 72, an artist and interior designer who for many years operated the Helen L. Jones French Antiques store in Chestnut Hill, died Nov. 16 at the Hillcrest Convalescent Center in Durham, N.C. after a lengthy illness.
Mrs. Christy’s store, at 8436 Germantown Ave., was widely known for offering the finest imported antiques from France, many of which were personally selected by the owner on frequent buying trips.
Born in Wilkes-Barre, Mrs. Christy attended Skidmore College and the Parsons School of Design in New York. In the 1960s, she moved with her first husband, Morgan R. Jones, to Chestnut Hill, where she raised three sons while pursuing a career as an artist.
After a divorce in the 1980s, she decided to start a business of her own.
Her love for antiques, color and design became the basis of a career as an interior designer, and many of her home designs were featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and in Condé Nast magazines.
In 1991, she married John Gilray Christy. The couple built a French Provincial-style home in Wyndmoor and traveled the globe together. Mrs. Christie recreated the memories of those trips in her artwork as watercolors, pastels, oil paintings and pottery. In 2001 and 2002, she studied at the Vermont Studio Center.
Mr. Christy died in 2011.
An avid gardener and floral designer, she won numerous awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show. She had been a member of the Wissahickon Garden Club of Philadelphia and hosted garden tours at her home in Wyndmoor.
She also had been a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club.
She is survived by sons Evan Llewellyn Jones, of Durham, N.C., Morgan Richards Jones Jr. and Brynley Rowlands Jones, both of Philadelphia; a stepson, Andrew Christy; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Christy; three grandchildren, and four step-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Morris Arboretum, 100 E. Northwestern Ave., in Chestnut Hill. For information, call 215-247-5777. – WF
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