Obituary of Helen D. Winters
Helen (Day) Winters, 98, passed away peacefully in the early morning of April 11, 2022, at the Dock Woods community in Lansdale.
Helen was the beloved wife of the late John (Jack) J. Winters and cherished mother to Gregory (Joanie), Geraldine (Bob Warkulwiz), Georgianne (Ed Gribbin), and Jack (Kimberly). Her eight grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren will lovingly remember her as their devoted "Nana." She is also survived by her brother, Harry (Wimp) Day. All will forever treasure Helen's special spirit and memory.
Helen lived a full, remarkable, and faith-based life beginning in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. Momentous events like the Great Depression and World War II intertwined with meeting and growing up with her soul-mate, John (Jack) Joseph Winters. She met Jack in 7th grade while attending Immaculate Conception School on Chelten Avenue. Jack graduated from La Salle High School and was drafted into the Navy. They married before his deployment.
Helen was a popular, beautiful redhead with a sense of style that she modeled after her favorite aunt, Nan McNeil. She enjoyed riding horses every Saturday along the Wissahickon Creek. During the war, Helen was a career woman working at the Reading Railroad. When Jack returned home, Helen and Jack’s love, devotion, and family grew.
Helen and Jack raised their four children on Wayland Road in suburban Plymouth Meeting. Helen instilled Catholic values, ushering all to mass on Sundays and enrolling each child in parochial schools. Not only did she control the chaos at home while Jack worked as a traveling executive at Sherwin Williams, but she also maintained a part-time job at Strawbridge & Clothier. Helen always kept her sweet mother close. Agnes Day helped with the children and later came to live on Wayland Road. Helen’s trademark elegant Sunday dinners included the widowed aunts from both sides of the family and any hungry friends the siblings invited. Her Depression-era work ethic and her quiet charm would become synonymous with Helen for the rest of her life.
She continued to serve as an example to her children and grandchildren until Jack’s passing in September 2001. Helen capably assumed the mantle of family leader. She proved an unwavering confidant, oversaw family finances, and continued to contribute to her grandchildren’s college funds. She instilled values of kindness, education, faith, and fiscal responsibility. Behind the scenes, she was Jack’s equal. Jack’s passing brought to everyone’s attention her character, strength, generosity, and intelligence.
It spoke to Helen’s personality that she could do all of the above with a quiet humility and a quick wit. Strangers, friends, staff, and caregivers at her residence would remark about how engaging, sharp, and funny Helen could be, which persisted to her last day.
Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing at 9:30 AM and funeral mass at 10:30 on Friday, April 22 at St. Maria Goretti Parish: 1601 Derstine Rd., Hatfield, PA, 19440. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Wyncote, PA.
A contribution in Helen’s name can be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic organization caring for the impoverished and abandoned elderly. Gifts can be mailed to 5300 Chester Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143.