February 20, 2013 | 575 views
Helen Harding dies at 83
Longtime East Rockaway resident lived a ‘faith-filled’ life
Helen Harding (Nana) died peacefully on Friday, Feb. 8, after a short illness She was 83.
Harding was born May 3, 1929 in Brooklyn. She was the second of five daughters of Thomas and Julia Burns. After high school, worked in the Western Union building in Manhattan as a roller-skating telegram messenger for military casualties at the end of WWII. She met Artie at a local USO dance club after the war and they were married in 1950. He joined the New York Police Department , and the couple enjoyed their first 10 years of marriage in Brooklyn and then moved to East Rockaway in 1960, living in the same home for over 50 years.
Helen was a loving wife and mother with a true servant’s heart. She was a true stay-at-home mom for her four boys, hosting many birthday parties, serving as Cub Scout den mother and making lunch daily for them in elementary school. The Hardings were longtime members of Bethany Congregational Church on Main Street, where Helen served through the years as a lay reader, and worked in the thrift shop, sang in the choir and helped with coffee hour. They were very active members in American Legion Post 958, and Helen served in many roles including Ladies Auxiliary president. She was active in the Republican Party and served as an election monitor for over 30 years.
Helen and her four sisters loved to be together and every holiday included the sisters and their families, with barely any room for outsiders. They loved to laugh with and at each other. Helen enjoyed traveling with family and friends to Atlantic City and later Oklahoma casino’s. She and Artie enjoyed many summers crabbing or fishing in the bay in East Rockaway, wintered in Longboat Key, Florida and traveled many times to Texas to visit three of their sons and families. They loved their church, community, extended family and friends on Long Island.” In 2010, Helen and Artie visited Texas for an extended visit with three sons who lived there. With their father in declining health, they moved him to The Waterford on Cooper Senior Living Center in Arlington, Texas. He died in August 2010 of that year, just after their 60th anniversary.