Cover photo for Helen Angel Kahn, MSLP's Obituary
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1945 Helen 2024

Helen Angel Kahn, MSLP

January 10, 1945 — April 8, 2024

Athens

Helen Angel Kahn, MSLP

January 10, 1945–April 8, 2024

 

Helen Angel “Ange” Kahn passed away on April 8, 2024, the day of a total solar eclipse, because Ange always had a flair for the dramatic. The only child of Inez Kathleen “Tud” Mease and Joseph W. Kahn, MD, Ange was born in Cincinnati during her father’s medical residency. Stubborn from the start, Ange overcame numerous serious childhood illnesses including polio, earning her family nickname “Butch.” Ange spent most of her childhood in Hayesville, NC, often cared for by her Mease grandparents alongside cousins she loved as siblings. She showed an early interest in poetry, music, and theater and spent several high school summers on the crew of the outdoor Trail of Tears drama Unto These Hills.

 

In 1963, Ange graduated Hayesville High School and married Tony J. Foss of Augusta, GA. The couple spent their brief first marriage in New York City, a period she recalled fondly. Returning to Hayesville, Ange cared for her mother while attending Young Harris College. She subsequently transferred to the University of North Carolina, where she earned her B.A. in theater arts, specializing in costume design. In Chapel Hill, Ange married her second husband, Donald L. Singleton, and gave birth to daughter Michelle.

 

During the next several years, Ange’s family bounced from Los Angeles to North Carolina to West Virginia, where Ange gave birth to Donald Leon Jr. and wrote nursery rhymes to stave off the boredom of small-town domesticity. Relief in the form of a master’s degree in speech language pathology earned at the University of Oklahoma set Ange on her professional path. Over the next decade, she served clients with developmental disabilities, a passion throughout her 45-year career, at state institutions in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. After separating from Don, Ange embraced single parenthood and enjoyed several footloose years camping throughout the Southeast with her good friend and partner Tom Vondran.

 

In 1985, Tony and Ange reunited and married on Valentine’s Day, bringing three stepchildren—Russell, Joi, and Emily—into Ange’s life. She and Leon followed Tony to Georgia, living briefly in Augusta and Vidalia, where Ange helped Tony establish a short-lived sweet onion company and gave birth to daughter Aimeé. The Kahn-Foss family then relocated to Athens, where Ange joined St. Mary’s Home Health Care, providing SLP therapy services and terrifying north Georgia motorists until her retirement in 2017. After daughter Jolie’s arrival in 1990, the family settled in a historic house in Colbert, where Ange remained until 2023.

 

Following Tony’s death in 1998, Ange threw herself into single parenthood and Athens community life, serving as Montessori mom, UUFA mom, equestrian mom, theater mom, and soccer mom to her blended family as well as myriad godchildren, classmates, and friends who lovingly called her “Mama Ange.” As an empty nester, Ange maintained a hectic pace, serving the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship as a choir member and lay minister, advocating for social justice causes, and being Nana to her six grandchildren. Following her retirement, she regularly participated in OLLI programs and attended a poetry writers’ group. She particularly enjoyed performing in annual charity productions of The Vagina Monologues, the last only eight weeks before her death. A gifted and prolific poet, Ange wrote and recited verse until the end. Her children plan to curate and publish her work as soon as they decipher her handwriting and collate her many bags of half-filled legal pads.

 

Ange collected many things: books, pottery, quilts, hats, and animals but, above all, friends. Her unique gift for cultivating relationships drew people into her orbit, where most remained for life. She especially enjoyed taking young families under her wing, providing support and counsel through challenging times. During her 30-plus years in Athens, Ange touched the lives of thousands of patients and dozens of friends and colleagues. She will be remembered for her therapeutic skill, literary prowess, sardonic humor, overflowing handbags, love of Coca-Cola, and unmitigated sass.

 

Ange is survived by her children Michelle Singleton (Scott Schneider), Leon Singleton, Aimeé Kahn-Foss (Mike Walbert), and Jolie Kahn-Foss (Jenna); stepchildren Emily Lamar and Joi Vogin; grandchildren Miles Walbert, Noa and Sam Vogin, and David, Avery, and Jackson Lamar; and brothers Michael, Cub, and Rob Kahn; cousins Sandy Zimmerman and Sam, Ed, and Steve Snowden; her ex-husband Don Singleton; and friends and godchildren too numerous to name. Ange was preceded in death by her parents Tud and Joe; stepmother Amelia Kahn; husband Tony; stepson Russell Foss; aunt Jane Snowden; cousins Alec “Bob A.” Snowden and Belle Wolfe; and lifelong friend Davis Hoffman.

 

Ange’s family extends their deepest gratitude to the staffs of Emory University Midtown Hospital, Wesley Woods of Athens, and Bristol Hospice, as well as Sierra Hubbard, CNA, and Ange’s dear friends Mary Corey and Sheila Sanders, who all helped care for Ange in her final days. We also thank Reverend Pippin Whitaker and the members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens (UUFA) for their support of the Kahn-Foss-Singleton clan over the last several years.

 

Memorial services will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens at 3:00 PM EDT on Sunday, April 21, 2024, with light refreshments to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UUFA, Athens Montessori School, or The Cottage Sexual Assault & Children’s Advocacy Center.

 

Lord & Stephens Funeral Homes, East, Athens, GA is assisting the family with the arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Angel Kahn, MSLP, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, April 21, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens

780 Timothy Road, Athens, GA 30606

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