1920 was a spectacular year. With The Great War in hindsight, Americans were able to look forward to a “Roaring” decade. The Twenties brought about Women’s Suffrage, the Harlem Renaissance, Speakeasies, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise, the first commercially licensed radio station and the miracle drug penicillin. For the Kensington Park community, the most delightful gift of the year 1920 came with the birth of Helen H. on November 19th.
Helen was born the sixth of eight children in Woodside, PA. Her parents emigrated from Austria-Hungary in search of a new life and found a fresh start on a dairy farm. Every morning, Helen milked the cows along with other chores. As a first generation American, she developed an extraordinary work ethic and a passion for helping others. Helen’s compassion, kind-heartedness and true grit led her to her calling: Nursing School. In 1943, Helen joined the Army Nurse Corps and was stationed at the historic Aberdeen Proving Grounds (the Army’s oldest active training facility). It was there that she fell in love with Captain Walter H. The couple married soon after and began building their life together.
Together, Helen and Walter traveled around the United States, raised four beautiful children and created endless joyful memories. Over the course of her career, Helen was a nurse for a hospital, a private practice, the CIA and NASA! The family ultimately made Washington, DC their home and have remained here ever since. Helen could often be found volunteering her time at the Mormon Temple, just about a mile from the Kensington Park campus. Friends and Family know Helen for her sweet personality, but also for her sweet baked goods. Her daughter Carolyn recalled her mother often baking Austro-Hungarian pastries and always having cookies ready to share.
To this day, Helen is recognized on campus as being as sweet as an apfelstrudel (a traditional Austro-Hungarian dish). At 100 years old, Helen has a treasure trove of stories to share. We are truly grateful for all of the sunshine and happiness that Helen brings to our Kensington Park Family every single day.