Tracy Hellen of Hailey, Idaho, began her free-flying spiritual journey on Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010, at 7:07 p.m. at her home surrounded by her husband, Tom, her brother, Bill Turner, and sister-in-law Lorrie Turner. She was 58 years old and had been a resident of the Wood River Valley for the last 10 years.
Tracy was born in Ashland, Ore., on Nov. 18, 1951, to Dr. Robert M. Turner and his wife, Anne. She grew up in Ashland and graduated from Ashland High School with many of her lifelong friends. She spent two years in college at Willamette College and the University of Oregon before coming to Ketchum in the 1970s. After spending three years here, she moved to Maui, where her soul is at home. She spent the next 23 years on Maui working in a variety of jobs before finding her true healing calling and becoming a massage therapist. On returning to the mainland, she spent time in Ashland where she was able to be with her father when he died. In 2000 she returned to the Wood River Valley where she initially worked at Silver Creek Outfitters before returning to massage therapy. She met her husband, Tom, in 2004 and was married on April 15, 2007, at the Sun Valley Wine Co.
Tracy was an inspiration to many as she survived her initial bout with pancreatic cancer in 2005. She continued to be an inspiration when the cancer returned in her liver in 2009 and she fought it again. The support from her many friends was very important to her during this time and she never gave up hope.
One of the original free spirits, she made friends everywhere she lived. Many of those friends remained in contact with her, some for more than 40 years, despite the miles and time between them. Having a rare gift of making everyone she met feel extra special and extra valued, and never shying away from a party or fun, she was always a joy to be around. She valued friendship and good conversation above all else.
She is survived by her husband, Tom; her brother, Bill and sister-in-law, Lorrie from Bend, Ore,; and her mother, Anne Miksche, in Medford, Ore. She was preceded in death by her father, Dr. Robert M. Turner.
A memorial for Tracy will be held on Saturday, April 17, in the upstairs of The Mint beginning at 4 p.m. Drinks and memories can be shared with family and friends until 7 p.m. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Tracy's wish is to please send donations to Hospice & Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, Box 4320, Ketchum, ID 83340. Arrangements are under the care of Wood River Chapel (www.woordriverchapel.com).