Published in the November 4, 2016 edition
Helen was born in Waltham on Sept. 3, 1927. She was the daughter of the late George R. Johnston and Lillian R. (Karcher) Johnston. Raised in Watertown, Helen married and settled in Melrose to raise a family of three children. Helen centered her life around her family as a loving, devoted mother and later grandmother and great-grandmother.
Helen was first and foremost a homemaker. She took great pride in taking care of children, her home and providing unconditional love and support from one generation to the next. She learned the importance of family from a young age and provided loving care to her own mother as she aged. Happiness for Helen meant hosting family at her house for a cookout, or pool party and providing lots of food and love for everyone. She meticulously cared for her home, always with a seasonal scent from her Yankee Candles and had plenty of Friendly’s Watermelon Sherbet in the freezer for her grandchildren. As long as she was dressed and put together, Helen’s home was always open for family and visitors alike.
A Bruins season ticket holder for 35 years, Helen was a true hockey fan. She cheered for the Bruins for years but always insisted her favorite team was the rival Montreal Canadiens. Through good years and bad, she took in the game of hockey from her front row seats at the Boston Garden. In her free time, she enjoyed reading, playing solitaire, going antiquing and for a period of time Nintendo games, especially the Legend of Zelda. Perhaps most of all, her favorite activity was piling family and friends into the car and going for a drive. She often took her family on day trips throughout New England and especially loved driving to New York City to go shopping.
As the matriarch of the family, Helen was a source of great strength and love for her family. She will be missed but her memory will live on in their hearts.
Helen was the devoted mother of Geraldine “Gerry” Bertucelli of Danvers, Tom Tagan and his wife Susan of Melrose and Dorene Dupuis and her late husband Roland of North Hampton, N.H. She was the cherished grandmother of Brian Hurton, Tiffany Lotti, Nicole Maribito, Chandel Bertucelli, Shawn Tagan, Patrick Tagan, Matthew Tagan and Casey Dupuis. Loving great-grandmother of Devin, Brianna, Elena, Michael, Brittany, Trinity, Hannah and Bridgit. She is also survived by her former husband, Francis X. “Frank” Tagan.
Relatives and friends gathered in honor and remembrance of Helen’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Wednesday, Nov. 2 and again on Thursday, Nov. 3 before leaving in procession to Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1155 Main St., Wakefield for her Funeral Mass. Interment took place at Ridgelawn Cemetery, Watertown. For online tribute or directions, visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.