Helen, daughter of Burton Allen and Helen Allen Brown, passed peacefully at home on January 9th, surrounded by her family. She was 83. Helen had been challenged by health problems since a stroke event in August. She took full advantage of the past few months, making sure that her immediate family, friends and caregivers knew how much they were treasured. She was looking forward to being reunited with her husband, who passed almost 13 years ago.
Helen grew up in Springfield outside of Watsonville, and attended a two-room school house. She answered to Dolly, Sis
or Helen Marie. She graduated from Watsonville High School at 16, enrolled at Hartnell Junior College and then San Jose State, where she earned a B.A. and a teaching credential. While in college, she made indelible friendships with a group of co-eds: Bonnie, Claudia, Karol, Linda, Loava, Patty and Rae. Helen celebrated biannual luncheons with them for the next 60 years.
Helen was a teacher and administrator in the Pajaro Valley Unified School district until her retirement. She and her husband Al Nethercutt, relocated to Scotts Valley, where they enjoyed golfing and bowling with their children and grandchildren. After Al’s passing, Helen moved to the family “compound”, where she spent time cuddling kids and pups, puzzling and puttering in the garden.
Helen is survived by her children from her first marriage to Emil Yappert: Emil (Lisa), Lisa, Heidi (Mike) and Craig (Zahra), as well as her stepsons Tony (Laura) and Matt (Karen). In addition, she was known as Gram to Jeff (Brianna), Colin (Elle), Evan (Laina), Aaron, Annika, Zachary, Ryan, Alexander, Paige, Austin, Megan and Will. Her great-grandchildren are Brody, Colton, Theo and Zephyr. She is also survived by her brothers Chuck and Don Allen, and her sisters-in-law Carolyn, Ramona and Lynette.
Obviously, there is a cavernous hole in our family where Helen used to be, but she lives on in our hearts. We have so many vivid memories of her, and that is bringing us comfort during this sad time. Her children would like to offer special thanks to Maria and Angie, who always made Helen laugh, and to Imelda, Lucy and Elvia who made her last weeks more comfortable.
A memorial gathering of her family and close friends is being planned for early spring.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Helen’s memory to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066.
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