BURLINGTON, VT. — On Tuesday, December 16, 2020, Helen Emily Neudecker, loving wife, mother and grandmother passed away with her husband close by at the age of 84 in South Burlington, Vt.
Helen was born in Wheatland, Minn., to Thomas and Ludmilla (Frejlach) Mracek and grew up on a farm in Lonsdale. She received her nursing degree from the University of Minnesota in 1957. On October 6, 1962 she married Robert Neudecker, and Helen then devoted herself to raising two daughters, Liz and Mary. During their 58 years of marriage, Helen and Bob lived in New York and California, but Vermont became the place where her roots ran deepest.
Helen’s warm smile outsized her tiny stature. She loved raising her children and grandchildren with Bob and eventually watching them grow families of their own. Gabrielle, Emma, Robert and JiLiu held a very special place in her heart and they will remember Grandma Days that came with an endless supply of Pepperidge Farm cookies and occasional marathon card games. As much as Helen loved to cook for her family, she also loved the many special times she and Bob would visit her favorite area restaurants for lunch, sometimes with family and sometimes just the two of them.
Helen enjoyed being outdoors tending her flower beds in the summer and insisted on shoveling her walkway herself even on the coldest winter days. A lifelong learner and avid reader, Helen was a brilliant woman who enjoyed great literature and immersing herself in books about current events, biographies, science, world history and more. She will be remembered for her kindness and extraordinary gentle nature, along with the fortitude that helped her to deal with the health challenges she faced in recent years.
Helen is survived by her husband, Bob; her daughters, Liz (Ted) Gamache and Mary Neudecker; grandchildren, Gabrielle (Jordan) Gamache, Emma Neudecker, Robert Gamache, JiLiu Lucas Neudecker, Teddy (Taylor) Gamache, Mike Gamache, Matt (Erin) Gamache and the extended Gamache family. She is also survived by her sisters, Carol (Frank) Hancuch, Lucille Schmitz, Kathleen (Boyd) Paulu; and brother Robert Mracek.
She was preceded in death by her father, Thomas, and mother, Ludmilla; sister-in-law, Grace Mracek; and brother-in-law Jack Schmitz.
The residents and staff at her assisted living facility cared for her during the most difficult of times when the pandemic prevented family members from visiting. Helen’s family is forever grateful to the nurses, doctors and caregivers who got to know her, treated her with dignity and compassion, and held her hand when her loved ones couldn’t.
In lieu of flowers or memorial contributions, please consider taking a moment to thank a health care worker. Helen survived Covid earlier this year before moving into assisted living; you may honor her and health care professionals by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing until we can safely gather together once again.
Services will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ready Funeral Home South Chapel 261 Shelburne Rd. Please visit www.readyfuneral.com to place on-line condolences.