Helen Chao

October 1, 1928December 22, 2018

Helen Chao passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 22, 2018, surrounded by her family in their home in Flushing, NY, at the age of 90.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Helen lived in Beijing before moving to Taipei, where she shared her love of music through teaching, met her husband, Tim, and had their three children: Grace, Victor and Henry. Helen and her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1967, to New York, which has been her home ever since.

Helen loved music and art, and was a talented pianist, singer and painter. While living in New York, she worked for many years in the Macy’s Visitor’s Center where she gave tours of the historic Herald Square store in multiple languages. She brought the family together every holiday, over delicious meals and plenty of laughter. Ever the picture of elegance, she was sweet and generous, always stylish, and loved by all who met her.

Helen is survived by her husband, children, four grandchildren, extended family and family friends whom she welcomed into her home and treated like family. We have all learned from her and will cherish our memories with her always.

Anyone who would like to pay their respects can visit Helen at Pinelawn Memorial Park and Arboretum at 2030 Wellwood Ave. in Farmingdale, NY, starting in February.


  • Cremation Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Helen Chao

have a memory or condolence to add?

Justin Watrel

January 5, 2019

Helen was a dear friend of mine for thirty years as of April 22nd, what would have been my thirty year anniversary of my start date at RH Macy Inc. as a trainee in the famous Herald Square store.

Helen and I met on my second day on the job on my tour of the store with the rest of the trainees and having gone back to the Visitors Center to find a store directory in Chinese for a friend aboard, her and I and another member of the Visitor Center team, Linda got to talking and that started a thirty friendship with her. This included many lunches, dim sum afternoons and tours of the store and of the City over the years.

It had been tough for the two of us recently, especially after her retirement and me moving around but we tried to see each other as much as we could. We still talked on the phone on her birthday, Christmas and Chinese New Year. Helen always referred herself to me as "My Macy Mom" and I wrote that into my current book, "Love Triangles". This book upon publication, hopefully by the end of this year, will be dedicated to her. I had always wanted to get the book published so that she would have a copy but I know she will be there in spirit with me.

Much love to her family to have such a wonderful person in their lives. She was one of a kind!