Helen Friend, 84, passed away Saturday, Feb. 12, 2021, with her loving husband, Robert, and son, Karl, at her side. A prevailing heart condition followed by complications brought her life’s story to a close.
As we mourn, her grandson, Ian said it right, “She was an Angel.” She could worry about you in a caring way, be kindhearted and thoughtful, and make you feel loved and special often with a kind word. She had a laugh that sounded like a chuckle, and it was her path in this life to think about the well-being of others, making sure everyone around her was taken care of, especially her family.
Helen was part of the Silent Generation, and she learned to be strong and independent of thought with a pinch of salt. She went on to be a wife and mother raising three children whom she taught to be kind, truthful, and caring. It came as no surprise when she started working at the Lebanon Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) forty years ago that those qualities would be well suited for her work there.
There are many things that mom enjoyed in life, Easter was her favorite holiday, it was the idea of renewal and the miracle of Spring, and the fond memories of it she had as a child. She loved when the weather was warm and she could be outside, planting flowers and looking forward to when the hummingbirds would come. She enjoyed eating at the Pantry restaurant in Hershey or getting her hair colored her favorite red at Hairmaster, in Myerstown.
She was quick to dress in leather and go for long weekend rides with Robert on their motorcycle. She loved when Robert bought her things and he loved her delight in it. She loved the music of Willie Nelson, Neil Diamond, and Rod Stewart.
Over the years working at the VNA, Mom established long-lasting friendships. She cherished those friendships and loved when the girls got together for their monthly “Breakfast Club,” and could catch-up.
Mom loved to bake and we loved it back. Her fruit pies were amazing and Thanksgiving dinner, a traditional family gathering, was a joy to behold. She also loved baking Christmas cookies and with her daughter, Amy, and grandson, Galen. It became their special tradition.
Being a Grandmother brought her tremendous joy and having her Grandson Galen near throughout the years provided for a bond forever endearing. They loved having sleepovers, celebrating birthdays, and everything in between.
Towards the end, Mom was unable to watch the Super Bowl as she wanted to. She loved football, and her favorite player was playing. One of her nurses was going to surprise her with a picture of him and it said, “Helen – wish you could be here, Tom Brady.”
Helen is survived by her husband, Robert Lee Friend, adopted step-daughter, Amanda Friend Ueda, daughter, Amy Sue Zimmerman Kohr, two sons, Karl Lewis Zimmerman, and Kurt Bradley Zimmerman, and three grandchildren, Galen Wendal Shirk, Emily Erin Zimmerman, and Ian Micheal Zimmerman.
Preceding her in death is her father and Methodist Minister, Wilbur Jacocks, dedicated Wife, and Mother, Evelyn Clara Haggerty Jacocks, and beloved sister and spitfire, E. Grace Jacocks Hudak, whom she loved a great deal and was very close. And more recently, her deeply loved pet Yorkie, Jessica.
We love and will miss our Helen, Wife, Mother, Nan, and her “Nanerisms.” She made us all feel loved and we are grateful.
Any services held will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the National Kidney Foundation at kidney.org/donations. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family at our online guest book at thompsonfuneralhomelebanon.com