Helene V. Reddy
May 2, 1932- October 23, 2020
Helene V. Reddy continued her journey on October 23rd having graced us with her love, kindness, friendship and integrity for the past 88 years. She is survived by her sister and best friend, Doris Cabucio of Assonet, MA, her brother Jack Reddy and his wife Jane of Whitman, MA, 9 nieces and nephews and scores of “great” nieces and nephews.
Helene was a true daughter of Fall River. She was born during the Great Depression, in a tenement house, into a proud second generation millworker Irish family. Her parents, James and Arlene Reddy, emphasized the importance of family, education and a hard work ethic to their four children Marge, Helene, Doris and Jack.
Helene graduated from Mount Saint Mary Academy in 1950 and joined the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy envision a just world for people who are poor, sick and uneducated. The Sisters of Mercy are women of faith who commit their lives to God and their resources to serve, advocate and pray for those in need around the world. Helene took the name, Sister Jamesine, to honor her father. She then attended Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I. and graduated with her degree in nursing and earned her license to become a Registered Nurse.
She spent nearly a decade of her twenty years with the order in the jungles of Honduras, Central America. There, she and her fellow sisters, embraced the culture, cared for the poor and disadvantaged while starting the very first Nursing School in that country’s history. While in Honduras, she would rely on the Mercy Sisters in New Orleans for resources. Her main contact, Sister Emerita, would become one of her closest friends over the next sixty years.
Upon her return stateside, Helene qualified for a special federal grant program to attend Boston University and earned her master’s degree in Nurse Administration.
As the world changed in the late 60’s and early 70’s so did Helene. She transitioned from a life with the Sisters of Mercy to become a Nurse Supervisor at the Adult Correctional Institute in Providence, R.I. During this time, Helene learned and loved to golf and play tennis. She loved her Boston Red Sox. She would frequently visit her sister Doris’s family in Assonet and could always be counted on for at least two gallons of Newport Creamery Ice Cream per visit.
It was during this time that Helene responded to an employment advertisement in a nursing magazine that would change her life forever. She flew to Houston and interviewed with a company called ARAMCO. Quickly hired, Helene was on her way to becoming the Director of Nursing for Saudi ARAMCO located in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
She served as the companies Director of Nursing based in Dhahran for over 15 years. During the Gulf War, she was recognized by the U.S. Army for her delivery of care packages to the troops and hosting them in her home for a hot meal, shower and phone call home. Helene traveled the world recruiting nurses, but always loved visiting the Philippine’s, Ireland and Lebanon. Upon retirement, she bought the home next to her sister Doris and her husband Walter in Assonet, MA and split her time between there, Tampa, FL and Chocorua, NH. She had a wonderful retirement with her family watching her Red Sox, following the politics and her favorite television show Law and Order. Helene was a voracious reader and thanks to her lifelong friend, Sister Elaine Heffernan, she was always well supplied with books. Her vices were ice cream and scratch tickets. She and Doris spent a decade volunteering running the bingo group at Catholic Memorial, where they were known as “The Sisters”.
Helene spent her final months in the care of the amazing staff at Catholic Memorial Skilled Nursing Facility. While she could not be with her family, they truly treated her as a member of their family and for that we are forever grateful.
Services will be private.
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