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JUNE 15, 1902 -- NOV. 9, 2004

Helen Shrafft Wittnauer Atkins of Atlanta, a former resident of Buffalo who had a modeling career, died Tuesday in Specialty Care of Marietta, Ga. She was 102.

Born Helen Marr in New York City, she lived on and off in Buffalo for many years as a child and later as an adult. In recent years, she spent her summers here.

As a young woman, she worked as an illustrator's model and appeared on such magazine covers as Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan and Woman's Home Companion.

Mrs. Atkins was a classically trained coloratura soprano and made her operatic debut in the early 1930s at Steinway Hall in New York. The New York Times described her as "a young artist of great promise."

Mrs. Atkins and her first husband, Harry Radon of New York, began their seasonal moves to Palm Beach, Fla., in 1932, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. He died in 1972. They became members of the Everglades Club, the Sailfish Club and the Coral Beach Club. She was a member of the Mozart Society of Sea Island, Ga., and moved to Atlanta a year ago.

She also lived in California.

Mrs. Atkins is survived by two sons, Michael Cashour and William Radon, both of Atlanta; a grandson; and a great-granddaughter.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 1 p.m. Saturday in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Marietta.


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