Helene Josephine Hambrecht
June 27, 1918 – April 5, 2021
Helene Josephine Gerbron was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 27, 1918 to Alfred Theodore Gerbron and Blanche Adele Wintergerst Gerbron. She grew up with her sister Adele and brothers Charles and Elbert in the family home on Limekiln Pike in Jarrettown, Pennsylvania. Helene attended the Jarrettown School and was graduated from Cheltenham High School in 1936 and Germantown Hospital School of Nursing in 1939. She was predeceased by her parents, brothers Alfred, Charles and Elbert, sister Adele Sprauer, husband Walter Hambrecht, daughter Joan Decker, son W. William, and great grandson Tristan Cross. She is survived by two sons, Robert (Carol) of Kansas City, Charles (Debra) of Lake Orion, Michigan, a daughter Suzanne Race (Rick) of ft. Myers, Florida, eight grandchildren and their families and nieces and nephews. Helene passed away in Belton, Missouri on April 5, 2021 two months shy of her 103rd birthday... truly a life well lived.
We are all very sad to say goodbye to MomMom, our mother, grandmother, and great grandmother today. Helen and Walter Hambrecht met while working at SPS in Jenkintown, PA where she was the occupational health nurse. They built a wonderful life together with 5 children and moved to Ireland and Mexico City where they established homes and made friendships which continued through today. They built their waterfront vacation home in Beach Haven, NJ that we visited every summer with all the cousins, aunts and uncles. It was a familiar place, no matter where the US Navy had stuck my parents that year. Our folks would put us on a plane, and she would watch us all for weeks. She took us to see community theater once a week, the library often, Methodist Church every Sunday, and the beach twice a day. She served two or three meals a day for 10 or 11 people, with cocktails for the adults preceding, and had a full social life of lifelong friends and family. Sloppy table manners were discouraged.
She loved reading at the beach, sunbathing, swimming, waterskiing and spending hours on the power and sailboats. She was active in her churches, sang in church choirs, was an avid golfer, a volunteer with the emergency squad, as well as a champion bridge player well into her upper 90’s. Ambitious players would pick her up from her retirement home the last few years and drive her to their games for the points. She remained passionate about travel and travelled internationally at every opportunity. Walter died in 1996, but we were fortunate to have Helen with us for another 25 years. She left Sun City Center, FL and moved to Kansas City to be near Bob and Carol and family where she lived until she passed away today at age 102…..two months shy of her 103rd birthday. I really hope we got your genes, MomMom was the consummate matriarch and taught us well. We will continue her mantra of family first!
Thank you mother, grandmother, great grandmother and aunt for being a role model for all, and sharing and teaching us to live our best life. We will love you forever and be eternally grateful for the many fun filled years of memories we created together!
How incredibly lucky was I to have my mother, Helene G. Hambrecht, part of my life for almost 75 years! From her early years growing up at her Gerbron family home in Jarrettown, Pennsylvania her life was full of interesting experiences creating wonderful memories. Mom taught us to take advantage of every opportunity and to be a participant, not merely an observer, in life. From our years living in Ireland and family summer trip in Europe, she taught us to expand our horizons and think globally... and we traveled internationally until she was well into her nineties. She really loved cruising, and our last few annual cruises together she made certain that we not only sailed on the same ship, but also booked the same cabin with a huge veranda across the back of the ship! She was game to try any new experience, but loved the beach and being on the water above all... must be in the genes! What an amazing role model... so much so that I followed in her footsteps and chose the same career as an RN, and believe as she did that our most important role is that of wife, mother and grandmother. She made certain that I knew that fun times with family and friends was a top priority... and carpe diem! Mom maintained her sense of humor... not an easy task with the isolation from Covid-19 the last year of her life, yet we laughed together during our phone visits every day. Mother - you truly lived your best life ever... for almost 103 years. Thank you for being the best mother ever and a wonderful family journey! Your loving daughter, Suzanne Adele Hambrecht Race.
Dearest MomMom, As your best (and only) son in law, you have really been an inspiration to us all, especially our family. Suzanne and the girls and I were always amazed the way you could entertain our family, plus your brother Elbert and his wife June, for holiday weekends at your Long Beach Island summer house. You would spend all afternoon at the beach with the grandkids and after everyone returned from the beach a full course dinner would magically appear with absolutely no fuss. It never failed...the more the merrier and the easier you made it seem. I remember when Suzanne and I came to visit you at your home in Mexico City when Walt was working there for SPS in 1971. It seemed a mile high in altitude with traffic similar to New York City at 6pm. You loved living there, telling us the people, food, and the sights were all fantastic... and you were correct...we had a wonderful time visiting you. You even made packing and moving fun when we helped you pack in Sun City Center, Florida. You couldn't wait to get to the Midwest to be near Bob and his family... and loved your time living in Missouri... especially weekends at their lake house and sailing with Captain Bob. You truly were the matriarch of our family with your wonderful life spirit and great attitude. We will always miss you and smile every time we remember our times together. For almost 103 years your life lessons and advice have been so thoughtful. You invited us to keep you alive in our hearts, and we have been graced with your dignity saying goodbye to us all. Thank you for being a phenomenal role model and loving us all unconditionally. Forever, Rick.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Helene Josephine Hambrecht
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May 5, 2021
"TO A LIFE WELL LIVED "
Forever grateful your loving son,
Elsie Leah Buchanan
April 29, 2021
The picture I chose to share was from a wonderful visit we had when Aunt Helene came here to visit us in California in Feb. 1998. Mama was so thrilled to have time for visiting in person as that didn't happen very often throughout their life times. Distance being the main drawback...but both remained so faithful to writing throughout the years and my mother, Princine Whittington Proffitt, often said that Helene was the sister she never had.
We loved our vacation with them in Mexico City. I think our girls, Kelly and Kristy were around seven...Wonderful memories ( in the early 70's.)
I am very happy to have known Aunt Helene since I was about four...and now I am 80 and have felt loved and remembered all that time. She continued to use both my first and middle names as was the custom years ago and I hope I'll always remember her voice saying "hello Elsie Leah, how are you"? Have loved our two cousins, Suzanne(and Rick), Bob (and Carol) and pray for God's comfort to all who will miss this precious loved one from their lives. How wonderful that God has told us we will be with our loved ones again where there are no more tears or pain. Looking forward to that reunion. Lovingly, Elsie Leah and Jack Buchanan
April 29, 2021
Starting my many memories in Beach Haven with me sitting with Helene
April 29, 2021
Helene with my Mother, Mildred a few years ago when they traveled together
April 29, 2021
I have many great memories of Helene and she was a wonderful person. She was a remarkably close friend with my Mom (Mildred Fernsler) dating back to 1935 in Jarrettown, PA. They spent a lot of time at Jarrettown UM Church and youth group as well as many other events together. Helene was also in my parents' wedding and continued to be very close friends with my mom until my mom passed away in 2018. Growing up as a kid my family spent our summer holiday weekends with Helene and Walt at their house in Beach Haven. Even though I may have been a kid when I visited, Helene always treated me like I was their peer or equal and included me in everything. I also never saw her angry or stressed when I was in her company and was always a positive and fun person. I know Helene will be deeply missed by all of her loved ones and she will never be replaced! REST IN PEACE Helene and thank you for all of my many memories and thank you for being a dear friend to my Mom for 83 years!
April 28, 2021
A tribute to my Mom-Mom
When we were young we lived in a home not far from Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop. Birthdays with cake and presents were the norm, and Mom-Mom never forgot our birthdays! When I was young Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop were living in Mexico. Mom-Mom came home to Pa, to visit and she brought me a gift of a small Mexican doll. It was handmade and it was lovely. So I thought when my Mom-Mom came to visit she would always bring gifts, that's what Mom-Mom's do! Mom-Mom would pick me up and take me to their house in Glenside. While Mom-Mom made a delicious dinner, Pop-Pop mowed the grass with his riding mower and he did a great job! I sept overnight and the next day we drove to the shore and we would go to the beach (how exciting!) Waking up to the smell of bacon, in Beach Haven N.J. was good...Mom-Mom loved Cinnamon buns and Monkey bread. Mom-Mom loved Blueberry's but disliked Strawberry's. What did Pop-Pop like? Well, Potato chips and anything Mom-Mom liked! Lunchmeat sandwiches with Pimento loaf and Miracle whip and always Jersey tomatoes. Pop-Pop had a boat and we all really enjoyed that. In the evenings we would watch the beautiful sunset go down over the Bay...and always Church on Sunday...Mom-Mom was a social person and had many friends and a big family who loved her very much. Mom-Mom played Bridge and they say she was very good. Mom-Mom was a pleasant person and I enjoyed our times together very much. Mom-Mom was a happy person who loved life. I will never forget the sound of her voice or the memories we shared. Barbara
April 28, 2021
Mom Mom Hambrecht
Always loved & adored my Pop Pop!
Always was proud of me!
Always encouraged me!
Truly one of the kindest human beings I have ever known!
The best Mom Mom you could ever want!
Sea Isle City New Jersey 2006
Samantha Decker, Sonny Egitto, Kendra Decker, Gina Egitto, Michelle Egitto & Matthew Decker
April 25, 2021
218 Runnymede Ave. Jenkintown, Pa.
with Sarah Grace, Rebecca and Jack
April 25, 2021
September 8th, 1989
Immaculate Conception Church
April 25, 2021
April 23, 2021
I loved Mommom's white church shoes, and that she read romance novels as she rested in the sun each afternoon, and lived in such harmony with Poppop, and that she would put the sandwich fixings on plates to share around the table every lunch - lettuce, tomatoes, onions - with separate plates for the meat and cheese fixings, and a bowl to pass the bread. I am grateful for the strength she demonstrated in her ordered life filled with art and travel and family and friends and good food and football. I love how much she loved my husband and kids and me. Many of my memories with her get to come back to me when I smell The Atlantic Ocean, liverwurst, a cedar closet. I love that as I write there are so many opportunities to say thank you. Loved so much - Sarah
April 19, 2021
Thank you Helene for being my Mom mom. For letting me tumble in the waves, but always keeping me safely distanced from the undertow. For always having an readily available excess of what I needed, yet always encouraging me to find contentment with what I had. For all your compassionate understanding demonstrated with a gentle yet resolute patience. For the genuine love in all your greetings, always remembering everyones name and current whatabouts. For your resourcefulness, for your handmade gifts, for amazing care. You are forever a source of strength, courage, and love. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I love you so much.
April 18, 2021
Memories...oh so many.
Of course we grandchildren have our Beach Haven days forever in our hearts, but my most cherished memories of my Mom Mom are the periods of time we spent together conversing as adults. Our visits through the years in Sun City, Missouri, and Pennsylvania were my most favorite memories because of the conversations we shared.
I could listen to Mom Mom tell me stories endlessly. She had the most fascinating life of anyone I had ever met. We would sit together and talk for hours, just me and her. And we talked about
EVERYTHING. From her travels, her most favorite places. From happy times to terrible times. Our regrets, and the best times of our lives. Her many, many, friends and family, and the importance of our connections to them.
I admired her, as a woman.
Her tenacity, her steadfastness, and a life lived with all the love in her heart. You knew she loved you and you loved her back.
I will miss her dearly.