~~Helen C. Schenck (nee: Hansen), 100, of Mountainside, passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. She was born in Millinocket, Maine on July 19, 1915, one of six children, but soon after moved to Milltown, Maine.
Coming of age during the Great Depression, Helen was a strong and resilient woman. She lived a full life shaped by her diverse experiences. She spent her early years living and working in the Northeast including Eastport, ME, the Boston area and Bamberger’s Department Store in Newark, NJ. In NJ, Helen met Elwood her devoted and loving husband and their love blossomed after a first date ice skating at Bryant Park Pond in Summit. They were married in 1939 and had, Susan, their only child. The family moved to Mountainside in 1957 where she resided for 54 years before moving to Juniper Village in Chatham in 2012.
Although Helen left Maine at a young age, Maine always held a special place in her heart. In 1953, Helen and Elwood built a log cabin on scenic Meddybemps Lake close to where she grew up. For the remainder of her life, Helen, Elwood, and Susan would spend their summers in Meddybemps. This tradition has passed on to Susan and her husband Ken and grandsons, Kenneth and Donald Bogden, and is a hallmark activity in their lives.
Helen was a very gifted woman in many ways. Her hobbies and activities were governed by her devotion to her family—caring for them and spending time with them was always her first priority. She sewed and knitted clothes and household items and was a wonderful cook – including baking Maine blueberry muffins for her grandsons. She also enjoyed making homemade tree ornaments, draperies, braiding many wool rugs for her home and family and enjoyed decorating her home keeping it current.
Helen spent as much time as she could visiting and engaging with her siblings, children and grandchildren and loved entertaining. Some of her fondest memories were of family and friend gatherings, around good food, dancing, conversation and entertaining. She was also a long-time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Springfield.
Helen will always be remembered as a beautiful, stylish and gracious woman whose charm, warmth, kind heart and caring ways extended into all aspects of her life. Helen told wonderful stories, and had a witty sense of humor. She will be dearly missed.
In 1985, Helen was predeceased by her husband, Elwood, who was President of Richard Best Pencil Co. in Springfield, NJ. She is also predeceased by her siblings Norman Hansen, Gladys Heim, Harold Hansen, Dorothy Washuk, and Ester Hansen. She is survived by her devoted and loving daughter Susan Bogden and her husband Ken of Summit and grandsons Donald E. Bogden and Kenneth E. Bogden, of New York, NY, all of whom she loved dearly.
There will be a visitation and service on Saturday, February 13 from 9 am until 11 am at the Bradley, Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Ave., Springfield. Interment will follow at Hollywood Memorial Park, Union. For more info, or to send condolences to the family, visit www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com