Helen F. Hatala, a lifelong resident of Burlington, NJ, passed away on March 19, 2022, at the age of 89.
Helen‘s strong faith guided her life’s work in service to others. She taught over 50 years in both Florence Township and Trenton Public Schools. As an elected Burlington City Councilwoman since 1982, serving the Third Ward as an advocate for working families, Helen held many leadership positions during her tenure: Chair of the Public Works, Planning, and Celebration of Public Events Committees, Council Representative to the Land Use Board, and Trustee of Burlington Manor for over 35 years. In 2006, Helen was inducted into the Elected Officials Hall of Fame. In 2013, she was honored by the Women’s Leadership Alliance of South Jersey and the City of Burlington Democratic Committee for her continued dedicated service to the City of Burlington.
Helen was a lifelong learner and a strong advocate for education who held multiple degrees: a BA in advocate Political Science and History from Douglass College, an M. Ed degree in Supervision and Administration from Rutgers University, an AA degree in Legal Technology from Burlington County College, and an AAS degree in Allied Health from Gloucester County College. She was a licensed Registered Nurse and a Real Estate Agent in New Jersey. Leading by example, she helped numerous family members pursue their own college degrees and encouraged her family, especially women and girls, to pursue higher education and to reach for the stars.
As a powerhouse of energy and steadfast determination, Helen profoundly impacted many people throughout her life. She was devoted to her Burlington community, to All Saints Roman Catholic Church, and to her family and friends. Helen was also an active member of the Douglass College Alumni Association, for which she often planned events.
As an avid world traveler, she visited many countries with her sister, Stella (dec.), a diplomat, and other friends and family members. She was fiercely proud of her Polish heritage, sponsoring several family members to emigrate to the United States. Helen delighted in hosting parties to honor her friends and family and their achievements.
Helen will be dearly missed by her nieces, Janice Clauss of Delanco, NJ (Harry), Joanne Kresge of Saint Johns, FL (James), Dr. Antoinette Nowakowski of Durango, CO, Nancy Miller, Esq. of West Deptford, NJ (Kenneth), Marianne Ford of Cinnaminson, NJ (Jeff), and Rose Perry of Ship Bottom, NJ (Ken), her cousins, Teresa Stachura of Burlington, NJ (Joseph, dec.) and Barbara Kuciapa of Burlington, NJ (Richard), as well as many other relatives, friends and constituents. She was predeceased by her siblings, Alexander Hatala, Stella Hatala, and Mary Nowakowski.
Helen has requested that everyone wear red as a tribute to her Polish heritage. Flowers may be sent to Page Funeral Home, 302 E. Union St., Burlington, NJ 08016.
Viewings will be held at Page Funeral Home, 302 E. Union Street, Burlington on Thursday from 6-8pm and also on Friday from 9:30-10:30am. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at All Saints RC Church, 502 High Street, Burlington at 11am with burial to follow in Laurel Hill Cemetery. For the safety and well being of all attending Helen's events. Facial coverings will be required. Thank You.
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