Helen Costello Chase, the painter, dancer, and legendary Nyack bon vivant, died on Saturday, June 10th in Nyack. She was sixty six. The cause was pneumonia due to complications from throat cancer, said her son, William C. Chase. In age when women seem sluggarized by the samwness of fashion, Ms. Chase was an original. She was legally blind, yet became a painter. She could not eat sweets, yet she turned out a museumís worth of pastries, each one decorated more intricately than a Medieval Tapestry. Her mode of transportation was not automobile but ballet slipper. "She made life an art", said Jonathan Demme, the film director. Ms. Chase was born in New York. She was the daughter of Cleveland B. Chase and the god daughter of DeWitt Peters, co founders of the Musee dëArt Haitian du College in Port Au Prince. Her brother, the late Reverend C. Patrick Chase, was the minister of Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Clifton Heights, Pennsylvania. Although her family was prominent, ms. Chase belonged to the true aristocracy, the one based on intellingence, talent and grace. After attending the Dwight School in Englewood, New Jersey, and the Professional Childrenís School in Manhattan. Ms. Chase, a slender red head of surpassing beauty, danced briefly in Paris, and then joined the celebrated London Ballet Company, Sadler Wells. When told she "May not have the talent to become a Prima Ballerina". Ms. Chase never a women to waste any priceless moments of life on failure, hung up her tow shoes, returned to the states, and enrolled at Columbia University. She graduated Phi-Beta Kappa and went on to study French at John Hopkins. Following a brief marriage, she became something of a sensation in Manhattan as a florist, doing the flowers for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carlyle Hotel, both Sothebyís and Christeës auction houses, Upper East Side socialties and theater people. Sir John Gielgud, in particular, was a devotee of Ms. Chases droll little masterpieces. Mrs. Chase went blind in 1964; but never lost her passionate eye. She continued creating bouquets using her sense of smell and touch. She later wrote the book, Flower Arranging. When her peripheral vision was partially restored, Mrs. Chase became a painter. Her routine was to sketch during the day and work long into the nights with a brush in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other. Though her paintings were much admired by friend, she worked in obscurity until the day Mr. Demme came to call and asked to view her Haitian art collection. When he happened by chance to catch sight of one of Ms. Chaseís own whimsical landscapes, he became very excited."Her work is so vivid and alive!" said Mr. Demme. Two art shows were in preparation at Mrs. Chaseís death. She is survived by William Chase, a website designer in Nyack, her sister in law, Dorothy Chase, of Philadelphia, nephew Douglas Chase of Bermuda and nieces, Sarah Chase Dressler and Sandra Chase of Philadelphia. A memorial service will be held at eleven AM on Saturday, June 17th at Grace Episcopal Church in Nyack.