Helen N. Nicodem, formerly of Clarks Summit, Scranton and Springbrook Township, Pennsylvania, died Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, at Southwoods Assisted Living, Titusville, after a brief illness. She was preceded in death by her husband Frank, who she had known since she was 11 years old and shared married life with for 68 years.
Born in Scranton, Helen was the daughter of the late John Williams Nicholas and the late Grace Nicholas Driesbach. She was raised by foster parents, her aunt and uncle, the late Elmer and Helen Evans Schoen, of Scranton. Helen graduated from Scranton Technical High School and was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Scranton for more than 40 years.
When she moved to Springbrook Township in 1965, it was almost like coming home. Her great great Grandfather Rev. Evan B. Evans was one of the first visiting preachers of the Springbrook Congregational Church in the 1870s. She completely enjoyed sharing her land in Springbrook with the birds and all other wildlife she felt nature had placed there just for her. After more than 40 years, she and her husband relocated from Springbrook to Titusville to be near some of their family.
While raising a family, Helen worked part time at various locations. After her children were grown, she found full time employment at the Scranton Public Library. Always an avid reader, it was an ideal position for her to follow some of her many interests such as history, government, politics, and current events. These interests were second only to her children and especially her grandchildren. She took much pride in their academic, athletic and artistic accomplishments as each of her children and grandchildren grew into adulthood.
She and her husband traveled extensively across the United States, especially along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts, which gave her the opportunity to walk in the surf of these waters and follow another of her interests, gathering a large collection of sea shells. She loved the mountains and seashore, especially Long Beach Island on the New Jersey coast. She and the family vacationed there for many years, and it is still a place where her children and grandchildren enjoy visiting each year.
Helen was a person who loved laughter, jokes and was quite proficient at getting off one liners to the delight of everyone. Although she had more than her share of serious medical issues, she tried to spread humor around whenever possible. Several things that put a smile on her face were babies, puppies, polar bears playing in the snow and birds at the feeder at her kitchen window. Following is one of the many poems or sayings she thought expressed her feelings:
“Whatever else my family remembers of me (the mistakes, the tears, the temper), please also remember my laughter and love for them. Guard me against ever becoming a grim and cheerless mother who is unable to see the funny side of life, even when things go wrong.”
She will be missed by family and friends as one of the bright spots in their lives.
She is survived by three daughters; Janis Frankhouser and husband, Harry, of Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania; Leah Carter and husband Joseph, of Titusville; Molly York and husband, James, of Brandon, Florida; five grandchildren, Rachel and Allison Carter, Sarah, Emily and Andrew York and his wife, Damaris. She was preceded in death by an infant son Stephen Evans Nicodem, foster sister Jane Schoen Antrim, and brother Robert D. Nicholas.
Friends may call on Sunday, from 1-2 p.m., at Gordon B. Garrett Funeral Home, 303 N. Washington St., Titusville. A private service for family will follow. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to SavetheChildren.com or Titusville Area Hospital, 406 West Oak St., Titusville, PA, 16354.
If you wish to leave a condolence for the family, visit garrettfuneralhomeinc.com.