Helen Jane Bermel, age 66, was the youngest of four children born to Otto and Helen Bermel of So. Orange. Helen is survived by her sister Carol Kraemer of Fredon, NJ; Thomas Bermel of Katy TX, and James Bermel of Sarasota, FL. She grew up with many friends in the old neighborhood near Cameron field. She was the music talent in a family of painters, draftsmen and architects. Music was Helen’s passion, life, and livelihood. She was the organist/music director in a number of churches over the years in the Essex/Union County area.She gave generously of her musical gift to the community, serving as recreation director and therapist in several nursing homes, retirement homes, and rest centers in the Essex County area. If ever there was a lull in any gathering where Helen and a piano were present, she would invariably make her way to it, sit down and after a few arpeggios to get attention, would soon have the crowd joining in joyous sing-alongs. No one can ever forget her sweeping renditions of “Autumn Leaves.”
Photography with her ever present Nikon camera was another passion. She was a stealth lensman, and it often wasn’t until months later that family and friends would be surprised to see an event faithfully recorded in her pictures that have now become family heirlooms. Nature and landscapes were other favorite genres.
She loved the family of Siamese cats who shared the house, and doted especially Mitzi. They held ecstatic reunions when Helen returned home from excursions to Atlantic City.