Helen W. McKendry

MANCHESTER – Helen W. McKendry, 86, passed away Wednesday, August 25, 2021, peacefully at home with her family by her side. She was born Jan. 13, 1935, in Lebanon, N.H. to Edward and Elsie (Lufkin) Whittemore.

Helen grew up in Plymouth, N.H., where she was brought up by her grandparents, Pearl and Carl Whittemore. She attended the Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing and the University of Maine at Farmington subsequently working as a nurse in Philadelphia and for the WIC Nutrition program in Augusta. She believed in taking action to help others by supporting initiatives, teaching parenting classes, volunteering in the library, on local boards and, with her husband, in Nicaragua for Partners in Health of Maine. She was very involved in the community of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Augusta.

Helen’s family was her treasure, and many friends were considered extended family. One of her friends said that “she loved life and life loved her”. She was beloved by family and community. Children were a special joy. She was a teacher at heart and loved to give books to her children, grandchildren, and many others, preparing them for life’s adventures by reading to them, laughing, and hugging whenever she had the chance.

Helen is survived by her husband of 65 years, James McKendry, MD; her four children, Jenny McKendry, Betsy McKendry, Chase McKendry, Andy McKendry; and grandchildren Max McKendry, Liam Walp, Ian McKendry, Elise McKendry, Madeleine Dumais, Lily Day and Malina McKendry.

A celebration of her life will be held at the Viles Arboretum at 1:30 p.m., Sept. 25.

In lieu of flowers, please donate a book in your name to an organization that inspires you as Helen inspired us all.

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