Helen (Steward) (Fetzer) Hickey, 101, passed away in Chelmsford on December 26th. She was born in Glen Spey, NY, on May 15, 1919, the oldest daughter of Frederick and Anna (Weber) Steward.
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Helen grew up in New Rochelle, NY, where she met her husband, the late Wilbur A. Fetzer. They moved their family to Chelmsford in 1955, where Helen pursued her passions in life, including her family, gardening and sewing. Her skill with a sewing machine was legendary, sewing all of her own and her daughter’s clothes. Later she took up quilting, and created several quilts each year for charities, family and friends, even up to the age of 100. Following Wilbur’s death she renewed a friendship with J. Edwin Hickey and they married in 1973. Ed taught her to play golf and she became quite skilled at it. She shot an 86 when she was 86 years old, an amazing accomplishment for which her name was placed on a plaque at the country club. They spent many winters enjoying life in Florida until his death in 1982. Later, Helen moved to Naples, Fl where she had many friends and family. Over the years, she was a faithful member of a number of churches, most recently the Nashua Presbyterian Church.
Helen is survived by her son George R. Fetzer and his wife Xenia of Naples, Fl, and her daughter Marilyn F. Hulslander and her husband Ralph of Pepperell. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Melissa Galton, Angela Fetzer, Dawn Higgins, Jeffrey Hulslander, and Kathrin Osterberg, and eleven great-grandchildren, Elisabeth, Abigail, Riley, Tyler, Katelyn, Cole, Chloe, Jack, Emma, Alexander and Everett. She also leaves several cousins, nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was also pre-deceased by her sisters Adele Moir and June Vaughn, and a sister Beatrice who passed away as a young child.
Helen’s family wishes to express their gratitude to Compassus Health for the wonderful hospice care they provided. Her family will never forget, and be forever grateful, to Chelmsford Crossings Assisted Living, where Helen lived the last three years. Their dogged determination to allow her to live out her last days in a familiar place with the people she knew and loved, despite constantly increasing care needs, truly exceeded our expectations. In recognition of their exceptional care, we would suggest that anyone who would like to make a donation in Helen’s memory would consider The Chelmsford Crossings One Fund, 199 Chelmsford Street, Chelmsford, MA 01824. The One Fund supports the staff in a variety of ways.
Because of pandemic travel restrictions, a celebration of Helen’s life will take place in the late Spring or Summer.