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Helen Jackson, 93, of Neptune, passed away peacefully at home on July 26. Helen was born October 12, 1929, in Long Branch and was educated in the Long Branch School District. She attended Brookdale College and Kean University.
Helen was employed by the US Army Garrison at Fort Monmouth in the Personnel Department for over 30 years. Her determination, diligence, and work ethic earned her a prestigious GS12 status. Upon retirement from Federal employment, Helen became an Attendance Officer for Neptune Township School District, where she touched the lives of many students and their families for 25 years. Her positive impact on youth was evident, as she was fondly greeted by all who remembered her, even years later, with a huge smile and a “Hello, Ms. Jackson.”
Helen was well known throughout her life among her church community as a pillar of faith. The journey began in her 20’s, when she was baptized into the Catholic faith and received her First Communion at St. Peter Claver Church.
Religious sisters and priests received her unwavering support, beginning with the Oblate Sisters of Providence, followed by the priests of the Society of the Divine Word, the Missionary Sisters of Charity, and the Sisters of Mercy. Helen not only responded to the call to pray together with them, but also to share her time and talents.
She was always an active member of her parish, serving on the Parish Council for over 60 years. However, her favorite vocation was teaching the parish children in the religious education program, and later serving as its director. It was during this time that her selflessness, love of youth, and commitment that “no child would do without” was evident.
Helen was quick to happily respond to situations that enabled her to provide children with opportunities that they may not have had without her intervention and generosity. During times of tragedy and need, Helen was the first one on the scene and followed up with endless hours of physical and emotional support for families.
Helen’s expansive heart was unlimited. She became an integral volunteer with the Pastoral Care Ministry; and as a Eucharistic Minister, she brought Communion to the elderly, sick, and homebound of the merged parish of Mother of Mercy.
As a stellar Life member of the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. Helen served on several committees and as 2nd Vice President, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer. Helen was awarded the highest honor given by the association, The Sojourner Truth Award, for meritorious service in the community and deep concern for the advancement for the status of women. She cherished being a coach for the New Jersey Orators and a mentor for the Sisters Academy, working with the Afternoon of Art and Music Program.
Helen was a stunning woman and an impeccable dresser, always wearing color-coordinated outfits. An avid Mets fan, she frequently attended their games and proudly sported her Mets cap.
Helen was predeceased by her beloved son, Michael C. Jackson, in 1982. Surviving to mourn her loss are her daughter, Toni Renee Jackson-Stokes and granddaughter, Rozlynn Kelsey Stokes, grandson, Michael Anthony Jackson and his wife, Michele Gregorio-Jackson, and great grandchildren, Caitlyn Renae Jackson and Andrei Anthony Jackson, goddaughter, Tauilei McPherson, along with a host of godchildren, church members, club sisters, and friends.
A special gratitude is extended to Helen’s dedicated caregivers, particularly her “Angel” Maureen, for providing the compassionate care that enabled Helen to remain at home during her final months. Helen was a woman of deep faith, strong convictions, confidence, and an intuitive nature. She will be remembered for her welcoming smile, friendliness, humility, gratitude, and overall willingness to help anyone at any time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in “Memory of Helen Jackson” to Mother of Mercy Parish, 1212 First Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712.