Helene was loving wife to Paul Emanuel for 68 years. Loving mother to Irene Bressler, Carol Emanuel, and Ruth Maffa. Loving grandmother to Sarah, David, Joshua, Daniel, Benjamin and Anna. Devoted mother-in-law to Rich, Artie and Phil. Helene took great pride and joy in being involved in the lives of her entire family. And she encouraged everyone she knew to strive for excellence.
Born in Brooklyn on March 31, 1928, Helene attended Yeshiva as a young girl and Music and Art High School in New York City. She graduated from the University of Michigan where she majored in Music and English Literature, and played French Horn.
Helene taught piano for all of her adult life. And she inspired each of her three daughters to become professional harpists. At age 50 she went to law school and was admitted to one of the first classes at Cardozo Law in Greenwich Village. And she often joked that she was older than any of her teachers. She subsequently passed the New York, New Jersey, and Florida bars and practiced until she was 80 years old. A significant amount of her legal work was pro bono. She really enjoyed conflict resolution and helping people solve their problems.
She had many passions and a life-long love of learning. She always wanted to be active and involved. She loved to read non-fiction, especially history, and to attend concerts of classical music. For many decades Helene and Paul were regular Met Opera attendees. She was an avid bridge player, an excellent tennis player, and was hitting golf balls well into her 90s. Her spirit was indomitable. And she is greatly missed.
In her later years, Helene was a tireless fundraiser for the Bergen Philharmonic, and a passionate advocate for gun control. And was so proud to say that she was Ina Garten "The Barefoot Contessa's" Aunt.
Donations in Helene's name are welcomed to the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. 311 Cornwall Road. Bergenfield, NJ 07621.