Helena was born Oct. 21, 1922 in Somerville. She was the oldest of three children born to the late Erford and Wyona Kemp.
Helena leaves her son, Eric and his wife Nancy of Westborough; her four grandchildren, Kristina Petrazzuoli and her husband Dr. Marco Petrazzuoli of Orange, Conn., Nika Engberg and her husband Nick Brown of Natick, Dr. Zebediah Engberg of Mt. Pleasant, Utah, and Sage Engberg of Mt Pleasant, Utah; and her three great-grandsons, Mario and Max Petrazzuoli and Zane Engberg. Her loving husband of 65 years, Harold Engberg, predeceased her in 2011.
Helena moved to Westborough at age 1 in 1923 and was a life- long resident. After graduating from Westborough High School in 1940, she attended college in Boston, studying occupational therapy. While riding the commuter train she met and became engaged to Harold, her future husband. After obtaining her degree, she worked at Westborough State Hospital, as well as several other hospitals in the Massachusetts State Hospital system.
After Harold returned from military service in World War II, they were wed Feb. 2, 1946. For the next 20 years she lived as a mother and wife, raising her son. She developed an expertise for art and excelled at creating in several media, including silk screen, weaving, and especially drawing and painting. Also during this time she continued her education, earning a degree in library science, and working in several library jobs.
Helena also enjoyed doing historical research. This led her to researching her personal heritage and family genealogy, which resulted in her writing a “family tree.” She extensively researched historical records back to the 1600s of the Westborough Congregational Church and wrote and published “A History of the Evangelical Congregational Church.”
She was a life-long member of The Congregational Church of Westborough. She taught adult bible study for many years and served as church librarian. She was active in the Women’s Fellowship.
Helena’s greatest passion in life was the town of Westborough. She was a trustee of the Westborough Public Library for 17 years and served as its chair. She also served on the Cultural Council for seven years.
In later years, she and Harold enjoyed traveling and took numerous trips throughout Europe. She loved spending time with her grandchildren.
Her funeral service will be held Friday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m., in The Congregational Church of Westborough, 57 West Main St., Westborough. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. Calling hours are Thursday, Oct. 5, from 5-7 p.m., .at the David A. Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to The Congregational Church of Westborough Memorial Fund, 57 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581 or to the Westborough Public Library, 55 West Main St., Westborough, MA 01581.