Cassandra Helis Citro, age 74, passed away peacefully in Santa Monica, California, on September 30, 2017, surrounded by her loving family and devoted caregivers. Sandra, as she was known to her family and many friends, fought a valiant battle against cancer for two years. Throughout her illness, she always maintained a positive outlook and enthusiasm for life. Despite her failing health, she continuously placed the needs and happiness of her family and friends foremost.
Born in New Orleans, La., she resided in Los Angeles, California for many years. Sandra graduated from the Metairie Park Country Day School in Metairie, Louisiana. Following graduation, she continued her education in Switzerland and Stephens College located in Columbia, Missouri. She graduated from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles with a degree in film editing. After serving apprenticeships, she was admitted to the prestigious Film Editor’s Guild. She was an accomplished film editor, working with film notables, such as Orson Welles.
During the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, her Father, William G. Helis, Jr., was appointed by the President to serve as the official envoy for the United States to the wedding of the King of Greece. Sandra accompanied her Father and served with grace and distinction as his hostess for the numerous diplomatic and official events surrounding the wedding.
For many years, she volunteered, as a trained counselor, to serve cancer patients and their families in the Los Angeles area. In the tradition of her family, she was also a passionate horsewoman. She was an accomplished rider. She maintained and trained her horses in Kalispell, Montana near her vacation home so she could be with her horses daily when in residence.
She is survived by her two children, John William Citro of Pacific Palisades, California, and Marika Anne Citro of Van Nuys, California. She was preceded in death by her father, William G. Helis, Jr. and her mother, Venus Dipson Pigman. She was also preceded in death by her husband, John R. Citro, her sister, Betty Vanessa Helis, and her devoted companion, Daniel J. Campbell.
A memorial service was held in Los Angeles California. A private Greek Orthodox burial service will be held at Metairie Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana, with interment to follow in the Helis Family tomb.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed online at www.tharpsontheimerfh.com. Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp Funeral Home of Metairie is in charge of arrangements.