Helen A. Nicholas

(1955-2016)

Helen A. Nicholas
(1955-2016)

Helen A. Nicholas was born to Catherine and James Nicholas in Ridley Park, PA. Growing up with younger brother John and older brother Jim, Helen was ahead of her time, considering her athletic talent. Helen could not understand why she could not get a baseball uniform and play on a little league team, when she could hit a ball further than most of the boys in the neighborhood.
Helen attended Saint Madeline Grade School and Cardinal O’Hara High School, where her athletic prowess and academic skills earned her a place in the O’Hara Hall of Fame, which recognized student athletic achievement. Helen also played guard on the women’s varsity basketball team while attending Purdue University. In her senior year at Purdue, Helen was named the female Athlete of the Year. Helen also pursued athletics outside of the academic arena, playing semi-pro softball and an outstanding round of golf.
In addition to athletic talent, Helen had a thirst for knowledge and attained degrees in Psychology, Industrial Engineering and a Doctorate of Juris Prudence. In her 33 year career working for the US Postal Service, Helen made use of her Law degree by rising to the rank of Deputy Managing Counsel, handling Equal Employment Opportunity litigation. Helen’s thirst for knowledge enabled her to grow and create in the fields of photography and cooking.
Family and friends were one of the most important parts of Helen’s life. She continued to help out her Mom after her Dad’s passing, remained close with her brother John and sister-in-law Annmarie and nephew Rob, often hosting barbeques or traveling to Lancaster for shopping. She adored her niece Amy and nephew Michael, children of her brother Jim and sister-in-law Linda, who live in the Chicago area. Helen was the favorite relative of many family members. For Sue’s two nephews, Joshua and Matthew, “Auntie Helen” made the boys sparkle with delight at every turn, by demonstrating her love for the boys through carefully planned and executed adventures for every occasion.
Friends were also important, and Helen had many. She was always able and willing to listen, advise, and follow through with kindness and helpfulness in any way that she should.
Helen passed away at her home in Swedesboro, under the loving care of her spouse, Susan Arnold. In their 21 years together, Helen and Sue enjoyed traveling, discovering and frequenting fine restaurants, playing golf, exercising at the gym, and owning and loving a few cats and a wonderful Labrador Retriever. Sue was the love of Helen’s life.

Come celebrate 61 great years Saturday noon to 1 p.m. at Daley Life Celebration Studio, Swedesboro, where there will be a 1 p.m. service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Utah no-kill animal shelter at bestfriends.org or to the charity of your choice.

21 thoughts on “Helen A. Nicholas

  1. Jen Breslin

    Helen always reminds me of “The Giving Tree.” If someone needed something, Helen was always there to give it to them, quietly. There was nothing she would not do for her friends or family, or those in need. Helen was patient and always so very kind. Sue was, indeed, the love of her life. I will miss you, dear friend. thank you for the gift of your friendship. Jen Breslin

  2. Susie Atkinson

    Our hearts are saddened by the news of Helen’s passing. Helen and I grew up across the street from one another. Her contagious smile is what I will miss the most. She was kind hearted and truly loved life to the fullest. We will miss her dearly.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sue and the Nicholas family for the heartache and loss they have endured. Forever your neighbors; Donna Susie and Regina Atkinson

  3. Mimi Dole

    Four years ago I joined the USPS Law Department and was fortunate enough to have Helen as my supervisor. I have never had a better boss in my entire life; she was wise and helpful and knew everything about everything. She was always kind and funny and became a dear friend. I will always be forever grateful to have had her in my life.

  4. Dawn Farmer

    I am deeply sadden by the passing of my life long friend. Helen was my softball buddy in Pittsburgh, and thru life. She moved to Swedesboro but even thru the distance we always kept in touch. We always would end our phone calls with Love You. I will miss you my friend, heaven has gained an amazing angel. Till we see each other again. Love You Dawn

  5. Yolanda Pizarro

    Helen became my friend 21 years ago when I joined the USPS Law Department in 1995. She was perhaps the kindest, most selfless individual I have ever met. She was a caregiver to everyone and made sure those important in her life were Ok before even beginning to think about herself. I loved working with her. Her insights, intellect , judgment and camaraderie made it a joy to come to work. The last few years were so challenging for her but I was in awe of the strength she displayed while confronting her illness with such dignity and grace. There are many people who come and go in one’s life, but I have been blessed to have had the gift of Helen. Thank you, my friend. May you rest in peace.

  6. Laree Martin

    Helen was such a great playmate! I always wanted her to move to Washington DC, because I was selfish and wanted her to come to my town. When she met Sue, it was over. There was no need to even beg anymore, because she was head over heels for Sue, their animals, and their life together. When I met Sue and visited their home, I could see first hand why Helen was firmly rooted.
    For me, there was never enough time to actually be together, and never a moment that I didn’t feel like I was with her and she was with me. That will never change.

  7. Mary Anne Gibbons

    I had the pleasure of having Helen as a member of my staff when I was General Counsel of the Postal Service. My two most striking memories of Helen are her approach to life and the way her face lit up and her eyes sparkled when she smiled. For Helen, the glass was always half full. She was calm and resilient and brought those and her many other gifts to work and in her personal life. Her smile reflected her incredible warmth. Helen was also a very talented attorney and manager. The USPS was fortunate to be the beneficiary of her talents for so many years. God speed Helen and my deepest sympathy to your beloved Sue.

  8. Rick Acker

    Helen was a beautiful, compassionate and empathetic individual that I truly came to love. I not only worked with her in Labor Relations, and subsequently when she went to the Law Department, but knew her as a confidant and soulmate in so many other ways. I will miss her dearly, and I am proud and honored to have called her my friend.

  9. Carolyn Berry Ress

    Helen was my sister’s sister-in-law, and with that an extension of our family. Thru the years I had the pleasure of celebrating with Helen and Sue at various family occasions. It was always a pleasure being with them. I also enjoyed hearing the stories of various Nicholas family vacations that Jim and Linda, my sister, were able to attend. Helen spirt also shined thru when I heard of the great itineraries she planned.
    Thinking of Sue and the whole Nicholas family at this very difficult time.

  10. Linda Cardella

    What a true blessing to have been able to get to know and work with Helen. A gentle woman, always kind and thoughtful. Such a sad day. The world is forever altered by her loss and seemingly empty. Wishing Sue and all of Helen’s family peace during this very sad time.

  11. Linda Malley

    Such a sad day to hear about my old friend Helen. I was so happy we had a chance to see you and Sue last year. I remember how much fun we had as we were all searching for what we wanted to do when we finally made time to grow up. Little did I know how accomplished you already were. You were always gracious , humble and kind. As my good friend Dawn said heaven has gained an angel. My deepest sympathies to Sue and her family. God Bless

  12. Karen Borowski

    I had the pleasure of knowing Helen for more than 20 yrs. I can remember her diligently sitting in the lunchroom on Tour1 at the Pgh Plant every night with her head in a book while working on her law degree. She was one of the kindest people I ever met and had a great sense of humor. But, more than anything she was a great listener. While we were mostly in separate cities, we would have the greatest phone conversations thru the years. She had the ability to relate and empathize on any issue while always “giving it to you straight”. She will be sorely missed. My sincere sympathy to her family.

  13. Paula Nerone

    All who have commented here have so eloquently captured many of the multifaceted essences of Helen. There is so much more to be said. These past few days I have had no words for what Helen has meant to me and so many others who have been blessed to know her.
    Helen, “Your light cannot be extinguished. Although I cannot see you, when I look at the stars, I know you are still shining some where.”
    Sue, You are the light of Helen’s life. Thank you for sharing her with us. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Ayako Loder

    Helen was a kind, friendly person, who always had a smile for everyone. I didn’t know her for a long period of time, but during that short time, I realized her significance and what Helen taught through her compassion, courage and love. She will always be remembered for the memories that live in those she touched and loved.

  15. Kathy Kendra

    While I marvel at Helen’s intellect and accomplishments, I remember her capacity to enjoy life to the fullest. We have shared many memories through the years which started on the ball field, and thoughts of Helen always bring joy, love and happiness, which she generously shared with all who knew her. Sue, you have been such a blessing to Helen to travel this journey with her. You have been and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers as we celebrate her amazing life.

  16. Billie Horton

    I met Helen in the early 1980s through a mutual friend in Erie PA where I began my postal career as a city carrier. At that time, Helen was a postal engineer in Pittsburgh. I left that frozen great white north for the warmer clime of Charlotte NC in 1985 and in short order I entered the Labor Relations function. In that role I learned that Helen had joined the USPS Law Department. If that wasn’t impressive enough [her going from engineer to lawyer], I actually was fortunate enough to really get to know Helen professionally in her roles as teacher to guidance counselor to legal advisor. Her endless wit, her giggle, her constant calm demeanor, her always being “there”, her enthusiasm, her knowledge, her every attribute … purely impressive!

    When future work pressures arise, I will always remember your “O” ring story…and smile. I am thankful for having known you. Be at peace my friend.

  17. Mike Propst

    The story about Helen wanting to play baseball with the boys reminded me of a time she and Sue visited me in San Francisco. My boyfriend David and I took them on a day trip to the Russian River, and he and I somehow got talked into a rock throwing contest with the girls. I’ll never forget seeing Helen and Sue effortlessly sail rock after rock across the river and into the woods beyond as David and I struggled to hit the shallow water on the other side. The girls were gracious winners, as with everything they did so well. Helen wasn’t just gracious, she was generous, kind, funny, smart, irreverent in just the right measure, and justly beloved by her colleagues, friends and family. My heart goes out to Sue and to the rest of Helen’s family. Rest in peace, dear friend.

  18. Marlene (Langguth's)

    John & Annmarie & Family, I only just learned on Christmas Eve that Helen had passed. I am so very sorry. You are all in my thoughts & prayers particularly during this holiday season

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