Helen B. Olcott, a true Nantucketer, passed away on Feb. 20. She had been residing for the last decade at Windemere Nursing Home on the Vineyard to be closer to her grandchildren, Janet Packer and Robert Olcott, and her great-grandchildren David, Nathaniel and Charlotte Packer and Donald Robert Olcott.
Helen was born on Nantucket on April 8, 1912. Helen's parents, Annie Nickerson of Nantucket and Herbert Brown of Edgartown, met at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair starting what would become a family tradition of Vineyarders and Nantucketers meeting and marrying. Helen's grandson Robert Olcott resides in Oak Bluffs with Helen's great-grandson Donald Robert. Helen's granddaughter Janet Packer lives in Vineyard Haven with her husband John Packer and Helen's great-grandchildren David, Nathaniel and Charlotte.
Like so many that lived through the hard days of the depression on Nantucket, Helen was always very appreciative of the value hard work and benefits of a good job. Nantucket Electric also appreciated her values where she was executive secretary to the president for 40 years.
Helen's life was not always the easiest; having no car she walked to work and the market day in and day out from her home on 88 Orange Street. After parting with her husband Albert Olcott, she raised and cared for her two sons, Donald Robert and Albert "Sonny" Olcott, as well as caring for brother Wilson "Brownie" Olcott until his passing. When Donald's children Janet and Robert joined the fold, she raised them as her own.
Helen's tireless devotion to the Episcopal church where she spent her Sunday mornings gave her the strength to face the toils of her life, but more importantly bolstered the most tremendous virtue of Helen's being: her capacity of unconditional love to her family and those around her. Of all her deeds on earth, it is the lessons of the power of faith to triumph over situations as well as the touch of her unconditional love that she leaves behind. For those who did not know Helen you can see the sparkle in her great-granddaughter Charlotte's blue eyes, the same as Helen's.
After retiring from Nantucket Electric in 1987, she found great comfort and even excitement at the prospect of moving into a retirement apartment in the Landmark House. She was even more thrilled to have an apartment overlooking Nantucket harbor where she could sit and watch the ferry boat round Brant Point on its daily excursions. She loved Nantucket Hospital and spent countless years there as a volunteer, earning her recognition and an award for the giving of her time. She was able to travel a bit with her cousin Marion, which gave her great pleasure. While at the Landmark House she met and befriended a wonderful woman named Ruth and there was of course Ruth's dog. They were wonderful friends who looked out for each other and Helen cherished her. Helen had a full and long life, and she will be missed.
Helen is survived by her son Albert "Sonny" Olcott, her grandson Robert Olcott, and her great-grandson Robert Olcott Jr.; her granddaughter Janet Packer and her husband John Packer, and her great-grandchildren David, Nathaniel, and Charlotte Packer. She was predeceased by her son Donald Olcott, and two brothers. Frank and Wilson "Brownie" Brown.
Services will be held at Grace Episcopal Church, located on William and Woodlawn Streets in Vineyard Haven, at 11 am on Friday, March 7. The services will be officiated by the Rev. Robert Hensley. Private burial on Nantucket to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the recreation department at Windermere Nursing and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 1747 Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.