Helen Cromie passed away February 19 at the Academy Manor Nursing Home in Andover, Massachusetts at the age of 99. Born Helen Louise Pickard, June 29, 1912 in Hopedale, MA, she grew up in nearby Mendon, graduating from Mendon High School in 1929. She graduated from Framingham Normal School in 1931 and went on to teach in the Andover West Parrish school until her marriage to Gilbert Cromie of Andover in 1938. During those hard economic times she had to give up teaching after marriage, as the Cromie dairy farm in Andover was considered gainful family employment, and the depression meant that public service employment had to be allocated to those with no other means to provide for their families.
In later years Helen taught as a substitute in the Andover Elementary School System. Along with her husband Gilbert, they owned a dairy farm on Abbot Street until 1962. Helen and Gil were long time members of South Church in Andover where Helen taught Sunday school and managed a den of Cub Scouts from Pack 73 back in the 1950’s and volunteered many hours. She was also an active volunteer at the Andover Historical Society.
Helen lived at 106 Abbot St in Andover for 70 years, her husband Gil having passed away in 2001. Helen moved to Ashland Farm assisted living in 2008 and Academy Manor in 2010.
Helen was the daughter of George Henry Pickard and Carrie Madella (Feltham) Pickard of Mendon, MA. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Gilbert Cromie, her twin brother Herbert Pickard of Marion SC and her sister Marjorie Pickard of Chester Vermont and later Andover.
Helen is survived by her son Richard Cromie and wife Marcia (Anderson) Cromie of Covina, CA and daughter Janet (Cromie) Kelly and husband Kevin Kelly of Amherst, MA. Her grandchildren are Michael Cromie and wife Lani Cromie of Antioch, CA, Scott Cromie of Los Angeles, Clare Kelly and Liam Kelly of Amherst, MA, and great grand daughters, Samantha, Raina and Isabelle Cromie of Antioch CA.
Always known as “Bada” to her grandchildren, she was loved by all and will be deeply missed.
ARRANGEMENTS: Burial will be at Spring Grove Cemetery in Andover in a private ceremony. A memorial service in celebration of her life for all friends and family is planned at the South Church Chapel in Andover Monday, April 16 at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Helen’s name to the Andover Historical Society, 97 Main St. Andover MA 01810, or the South Church Memorial Fund, 41 Central St. Andover, MA 01810. To sign the family guest book, please visit www.contefuneralhomes.com