Eckenrode, Helen (nee Petropoulou), 93 beautiful years (February 15, 2022). Beloved wife for 57 years of the late Henry W. Eckenrode. Loving mother to Walter Constantine Eckenrode and Tina Zoe Eckenrode (Francis X. Brennan). She will also be missed by her 4 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. She is also survived by two sisters, one in the US and one in Greece.
Helen lived her life to the fullest, many people say it was worthy of a book. She grew up in Athens, Greece and survived the German occupation during WWII and the subsequent Greek Civil War. She always wanted to learn and came to the US in 1952 to attend Manchester College (IN) on a full scholarship despite her rudimentary English at the time. This is where she met Henry, who put a note in her mailbox so she would have to come to speak to him, the Campus Postmaster. Henry was persistent and with several attempts at translations, they found each other. They were married in 1955, where she was walked down the aisle by the President of the University. For their honeymoon, they flipped a coin to decide which way to travel. She loved spontaneity, they were a match made in heaven.
They returned to Philadelphia after graduation and Walter was born in 1957. Helen taught piano all over the area for over 60 years. They adopted Tina in 1966. In 1969, they joined the Peace Corps and lived in the Belgian Congo for the next four years where Helen taught at a local African school.
Helen loved to travel and took many trips to Aruba, all over Europe especially Greece, Mexico, and many other places. Music was a constant for her, she loved to teach piano, sang in her Church choir, and would readily go to any concert. Her kindness and generosity were legendary, she once gave a homeless woman her new coat because she looked cold. She loved to make Greek dishes, and host large gatherings to eat and laugh. Her life was truly defined by family, faith, adventure, and service to others.
Helen always said “If I were young, I would love to do it all again!”
Relatives and friends are invited to Helen’s Viewing, Friday 2/25, 10 to 11am at Philadelphia First Church of the Brethren, 8707 W. Cheltenham Ave. Wyndmoor, PA 19038. Her funeral service will follow 11am. Interment Sunset Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers contributions in Helen’s Name may be made to Philadelphia First Church of the Brethren.