Helen P. McLaughlin, 88, of Shrewsbury

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Helen P. McLaughlinShrewsbury – Helen P. (Packard) McLaughlin, 88, of Shrewsbury, passed away on Friday, June 2, 2023. Helen was born in Beverly, MA, the daughter of the late Earle A. and Kathleen E. (Gross) Packard.

She was raised and educated in Gardiner, Maine, and graduated with the Gardiner High School Class of 1952. She attended and graduated from Farmington State Teachers College in Maine with her Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1956. She was an elementary education teacher in Sidney, ME, early in her career; later, she worked for Belden Inc. for many years before retiring.

She married her beloved husband, the late William J. McLaughlin, on August 28, 1993. They moved to Shrewsbury in 1986.

Helen was a longtime member and volunteer of the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury. A strong community advocate in the town, Helen was an elected Town Meeting member. Where she was known for always having a kind comment before asking a pointed question, she served on the Council on Aging board, was a founding member of ADVISE (Against Domestic Violence in Shrewsbury), and a member of the Shrewsbury Women’s Club.

Helen enjoyed local and national politics and loved democracy. She served on the League of Women Voters of Shrewsbury board and was a member of the state and national leagues for many years.

She championed good causes, including serving on the Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services Gala committee for many years. She could always be counted on to bring in many auction items that she solicited in person from local businesses for the annual fundraiser and to be a fierce competitor in the live auction.

Helen loved traveling and spent many happy times with Bill, who would pack her suitcases expertly. And with her daughter, who is a travel agent; she was especially fond of visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, traveling to Europe, and riverboat cruises.

Helen is survived by her daughter, Laurie Ann Manchester, of Diamondhead, MS, and San Miguel, Mexico; her step-children, Shelly and husband Chet Majewski, of Shrewsbury, Ward and wife Carolynn McLaughlin, of North Billerica; her step-grandchildren, Beth Kerbel and husband Jon, of Scarborough, ME, LT Col. Kate Murray, and husband Maj. Matthew Murray, both retired USMC, of Great Falls, VA; Ryan Majewski and wife Michelle, of Wilmington, MA; Meghan Dubois and husband Aaron, of Stockbridge, MA, Daniel McLaughlin, of Mashpee, William McLaughlin, of Holden, Jennifer Gavaletz and husband Douglas, of Dudley; Jillian Jagling and husband T.J., of Hudson, and Brittnie Felch and husband Jef, of Shrewsbury; her step-great-grandchildren, Nathan, Benjamin, Max, Reed, Owen, Taylor, Devon, Avery, Thomas, Jameson, and Callan; her beloved feline friend, Lancelot; as well as many wonderful friends and special caretakers, especially Brenda, Gail, and Lina. Helen was predeceased by her step-daughter, Chrisann Taylor, in December of 2022; and her first husband, Frank E. Manchester, in 2019.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Abby’s House (https://abbyshouse.org/) or Worcester Animal Rescue League (https://worcesterarl.org/).

Relatives and friends are invited to gather for a Celebration of Life with visitation from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in the parlor of the First Congregational Church, 19 Church Road, Shrewsbury, and a memorial service to follow at Noon in the Sanctuary.

The Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.

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