By  on September 30, 2011

Faith “Happy” Reichert, who was the oldest living Cornell graduate, a longtime instructor at the NYU School of Retailing and the host of an early television show, “FYI: The Helen Faith Keane Show,” has died at 109.


The witty, effervescent Reichert, born Helen Faith Kahn — which she altered to Keane while at Cornell to avoid discrimination in housing — was the oldest of four siblings, all of whom lived to be over 100. She sold World War I bonds for her Girl Scout troop and saw the ticker-tape parade for Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 trans-Atlantic flight. She was a keen booster of Cornell and founded the Helen F. Reichert Scholarship there, and made a $100,000 gift to a Cornell housing initiative in her will. Her husband’s collection of vintage diagnostic instruments was also left to the Weill Cornell Medical College.

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