Helen Alexa Roy, February 28, 1928~August 1, 2014



Helen Alexa Roy, 86, a long- time resident of Eureka Springs was born Feb. 28, 1928 in Evanston, Illinois, daughter of Theodore and Phyllis Koclannes.  She departed this life on August 1, 2014 at Brighton Ridge, with friends by her side. “Alexa” as she was known to most of us here in the Ozarks had the kind of life that only the dreamers and the adventurous dare to have.  In her book, “Wonderful Light-Memories of an American Buddhist Nun” she deliberately uses a quote from Helen Keller, which states that “life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”, and that’s just how Alexa handled life.An extensive world traveler at a very early age, she was ordained a Buddhist nun 1963. Calling Eureka Springs her “anchor point” she would travel the world and had a yearning for Sri Lanka, where she spent much of her time.  Alexa was preceded in death by her parents and leaves a son, Chad Roy of Branford, CT. and a daughter, Sheffali Sauls of Goldsboro, N.C.  A Celebration of Life was held on Friday, August 22, 2014 in Eureka Springs.

Roy, Helen Pic

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    Elizabeth Harris » 30. Aug, 2014

    I first met Ven Miao Kwang Sudharma (Alexa Roy) in 1987 in Bodh Gaya. I was living in Sri Lanka at the time. We became friends and, although I returned to the UK to live, I would visit her, whenever I returned to Sri Lanka. She was a wonderful woman, who had a remarkable life. Her last letter to me was a couple of years ago from the USA. My subsequent letters went unanswered and were not returned, and I did not know how to follow this up. It was with great sadness that, when searching under her lay name today, I came across the news of her death. May I offer my sincere condolences to her family. May she rest in peace. From a Buddhist perspective, may she attain nibbana.

    Kirk Theodore Alexander » 28. Feb, 2017

    Alexa was my aunt. First, to correct the record, her parents were Alex and Kathrine Koclanes, long-time residents of Eureka Springs since the early 1960s. Theodore and Phyllis Koclanes were her brother and sister-in-law, my parents.
    The last time I saw Alexa was in the spring of 2013. She had returned home to Eureka for the last time after years of living abroad, mostly in Sri Lanka. Her life was unique and enigmatic. Our paths crossed sporadically over the course of our lives. You can find her autobiography, Wonderful Light: Memoirs of an American Buddhist Nun, on Amazon. Rest in peace, my dear aunt Alexa.