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Helen C. (Campbell) Wilkins


Helen C. (Campbell) Wilkins, 93, formerly of Caroline Avenue, Ipswich, and  wife of the late John M. Wilkins, died Monday, January 2, 2012 in the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers, following her long illness.

Born in Ipswich July 22, 1918, daughter of the late Alex C. and Helen (Porteous) Campbell, she was raised in Ipswich and was a  member of the last graduating class from the Manning High School in 1936. Helen  went on to attend Burdett College in Lynn, training as a secretary. Before WWII she was employed as a secretary at the Ipswich Chronicle and during the years of the war she worked  as a secretary in the accounting department at the former Robinson’s Shipyard in Ipswich where she met her husband. Married in 1945 at the United Methodist Church in Ipswich, the Wilkins soon built and made their home on Essex Avenue in West Gloucester. For ten years she was employed as a secretary at the Trinity Congregational Church in Gloucester, later working at the Gloucester National Bank. Following the death of her husband and her move to Central Street in Ipswich, she worked at the First National Bank in Ipswich from which she retired in 1983.

Helen was an accomplished seamstress, having made clothes for many family members including the wedding dresses for her nieces Patti and Debby.

In retirement she enjoyed her travels with friends to much of Europe and Hawaii. She was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church of Ipswich.

She is survived by many nephews and nieces including Patti Comeau-Simonson and her husband Rick of Ipswich, Michael Girard and his wife Virginia Rudis of Kensington, NH, Deborah Wile-Taves and her husband Butch of Ipswich and John Girard of Essex.

She is also survived by Marc Comeau and Matthew Comeau both of Ipswich, Sara K. Girard of Kensington, NH, Meghan Brennan of Ipswich, Callie Wile of White Plains, NY, Seth Wile of Portsmouth, NH and Anni J. Girard of Ipswich all who knew her affectionately as “Nanny.”

She was the sister of the late Ralph and Walter Campbell both formerly of Ipswich, Emery Dukett formerly of Ipswich, Marshall Dukett formerly of Jacksonville, FL, Lela Kelly formerly of Manchester, NH and Jessie Girard formerly of Ipswich.

Her funeral service will be held Saturday 10 am in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich followed by interment in the New Highland Cemetery, Ipswich. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed, and at Helen’s request are encouraged to wear brightly colored clothes. Visiting hours are Friday 4 to 7 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Hospice of the North Shore & Greater Boston,  75 Sylvan St # B102  Danvers, MA 01923-2764.

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