Haverhill — Early in the morning of July 5, 2013, clearly awaiting the celebration and hubbub of the Fourth to subside and perhaps enjoying one last fireworks display, Helen Joan (Chwalek) St.Cyr fulfilled her earthly obligations and joined her departed family members and friends to her heavenly reward.
Born on October 7, 1920, to John and Catherine Chwalek, then of Lawrence, Helen joined siblings Edward, Joseph, Genevieve, Stanley, Charles and Frank, all now passed, in an active life of challenge, service and adventure.
Always looking to serve others, Helen attended the prestigious Massachusetts General Hospital School of Nursing, earned her RN and embarked on a life of service to the ill and aged. She had hoped to serve our country as a nurse in the military, and although she was turned down for health reasons, managed to provide care to others professionally for over 45 years before retiring in her late 60’s, and continued well into her 80’s caring for family and friends.
Helen served as a teaching nurse and later as Charge Nurse at the Lawrence General Hospital, the Brooks School of North Andover as student nurse, and as Head Nurse at the Pine Crest Nursing Home, formerly in North Andover, and the Anlaw and the Mary Immaculate Nursing Homes, both in Lawrence. While at the Mass General, Helen served as a cub reporter to The Eagle-Tribune, reporting on the horrific Cocoanut Grove Fire and the care that she and others gave to the victims of that tragic event.
In addition to her professional pursuits, Helen loved to garden, and when able, to visit the beach at Plum Island or go birding at the Ipswich Wildlife Sanctuary. A devout Catholic, Helen enjoyed attending daily Mass and praying the Rosary. She was a Eucharistic Adorer and often went on retreats at the Monastery of the Precious Blood, Manchester, N.H. For many years she was an active member of Saint Michael’s Parish in North Andover and later at Saint Patrick’s Church in Pelham, N.H.