Helen Ryan

Helen Ryan (Barber)

Tuesday, August 21st, 1928 - Wednesday, April 15th, 2020
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WATERFORD Helen Ryan, 91, affectionately known as “Senior” from Waterford passed away Wednesday April 15th surrounded by her loving family. Born in Cohoes she was the daughter of William F. Barber and Genevieve Donah Barber. She was educated in Waterford and a graduate of the 1946 WHHS class.

Helen was the widow of Jack Ryan, whom she was married to for 58 years. She was preceded by her siblings: Dorothy Paskow, Evelyn Barber, Bill Barber, Betty Giroux and Jack Barber. She is survived by her son Tim Ryan and daughter Nel Berdar (Dave) and is the proud grandmother of Katelyn, Ryann and Lauren Berdar. She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews whom she adored.

Helen began her career at GE in Schenectady and later transferred to Washington DC while her husband served in the US Marine Corp. Eventually, moving back to Waterford where she worked for Attorney Jim O’Connor as a secretary for several years.

Helen was a very active communicant of St. Mary of the Assumption Church. She volunteered at the school, was member of the Altar Society and Parents Club. She was also a member of the Waterford Senior Citizens.

Helen kept busy as a stay at home mother raising her children. In addition to working on numerous home improvement projects, Helen enjoyed spending time with her large extended family. Recently she was the “Matriarch” of the Bills family reunion, an annual family get together extending over the past 50 years. She looked forward to her summers where she spent time in Lake George, betting horses at the Saratoga Racetrack, going to casinos and our annual gathering of family and friends in Stone Harbor.

Helen touched countless people throughout her life. Aunt Helen or “Ant” provided love, support and care giving to her many nieces and nephews. She was a great example to all that knew her with her acts of kindness and generosity. She was always willing to help out anyone in need and put others first. Her quiet demeanor belied the fact she had a great sense of humor and a quick wit. Her funny retorts and observations often had people laughing out loud if they were lucky enough to be within earshot. She will be missed by many.

Due to the Covid 19 restrictions a private service was held with immediate family. A Memorial Mass and celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 950 New Loudon Rd #330, Latham, NY 12110.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Saint Mary's Cemetery
    Middletown Road
    WATERFORD, NY 12188
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
A Memorial Mass will be said at St. Mary of the Assumption Church at a later date.


  • Crucifix
  • General Electric
  • Roman Catholic Church


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Barb Owen

Posted at 11:34am
Nel, Tim , Dave & your beautiful family
Please accept my deepest sympathy!
Your Mom was one in a million, such a very special Lady & a great sense of humor!
I so enjoyed her company.....she always left the shop with a smile ...she was a breath of Sunshine to me !
Just loved her💕 😘
I went to the Cemetery last Saturday morning about 10:15 ....had to wait for the workers to move their equipment so I could get through to Tom’s
Grave......saw that there was a fresh grave ....on my way back I stopped because I knew where your Dad’s grave was ...OMG .....I was so sad. to see the
grave opened....cried all the way home.....looked through all my TU ‘s couldn’t find anything till Sunday! Didn’ t know your phone number, so very sorry!
May she Rest In Peace and may all her loving memories help to heal your broken hearts! My thoughts and prays are with all of you !
She will be so missed, by everyone ! One day at a time.... take care !
Hugs and Love from a distance Barb Owen


Katy Pinckney

Posted at 09:01am
Dear Nel, Dave and Family,
We were saddened to hear of the loss of Helen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May she rest in Peace.
Nan McLinden & Katy Pinckney

Pat Paskow

Posted at 01:11pm
Nell and Tim, I can't express how sorry I am to hear of Helen's passing. She was one super lady.. I am sorry we kind of lost touch for the last few years do to health problems but I thought of her often.. we had some really nice times together when John was alive... sending love and hugs to you both..PatPaskow


Posted at 12:42pm
Dear Family

John Frainier

Posted at 10:50am
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your mother. May you always cherish the loving memories of her. She will live forever in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

Michelle & John Frainier

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