Sunday, Jun. 13, 2021 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Paul Ippolito Berkeley Memorial
646 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
Helen E. Kirsch (née Keck), 77, of Berkeley Heights, NJ, passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2021, surrounded by those she loved, in the house where she both grew up and raised her own family. She was born on April 10, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY and lived almost her entire life in Berkeley Heights in the house her parents had built in the 1940’s. This town, along with her family and career ...646 Springfield Avenue, Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
Helen E. Kirsch (née Keck), 77, of Berkeley Heights, NJ, passed away on Saturday, June 5, 2021, surrounded by those she loved, in the house where she both grew up and raised her own family. She was born on April 10, 1944 in Brooklyn, NY and lived almost her entire life in Berkeley Heights in the house her parents had built in the 1940’s. This town, along with her family and career in human services, were her passion and life’s work.
She graduated from Governor Livingston High School in only the second year of its existence. She went on to marry her husband, H. Michael Kirsch on October 16, 1965. She moved with her growing family to South Plainfield, NJ, returning to Berkeley Heights a few years later to care for her aging parents in their home. Returning to the workforce after spending time caring for her children at home, Helen served in many roles, working at SAGE Eldercare, NJ Transit, and finally for Union County Paratransit. Her primary focus always being: service to the community and simply working to make the world a better place.
Those who knew her would agree that Helen’s life’s work was done as a volunteer on the numerous boards on which she served her community both locally and at the state level. Helen was a member of the Berkeley Heights Board of Education for over 38 years, serving as its president over 15 times. She also served for over 20 years on the Union County Education Services Commission Board, focusing on her true passion, special and alternative education. She also served on the Board of Directors of the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) and has been president of the Union County School Boards Association. She won the prestigious NJSBA’s Board Member of the Year award in 2015.
Helen is survived by her children: Michele and Gary Starkey, Michael and Laura Kirsch, and Stephen and Sara Kirsch, her four beloved grandchildren, Olivia, Daniel, Julia, and Max, her step grandchildren Gary Jr. (Jessica), David, and step great-grandchild Nicholas Starkey. She is predeceased by her husband, H. Michael Kirsch, her parents Max and Lina Keck, and her sister Carol Johnson.
Helen was someone who made everyone around her feel comfortable, valued, and loved. She was an incredible listener and caretaker, always putting others’ needs before her own. Her favorite place to be was at the Jersey Shore, where she annually hosted her family and friends to spend time together and make incredible memories.
Helen will always be remembered and held in the hearts of her family, her friends, and the entire community. Helen’s passing is a true loss to the town of Berkeley Heights, and she will live on in the hearts of everyone she touched. Prost, Omi, until we meet again…we love you!
Services will be held at Paul Ippolito Memorial in Berkeley Heights on Sunday, June 13, 2021 from 1-5pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Union Country Educational Services Foundation (UCESF.org) or the Berkeley Heights Education Foundation (bhedfoundation.org).