Sept. 22, 1929-Jan. 27, 2023
Palo Alto, CA
Helga Newman (neé Newhouse) died on January 27th, Holocaust Remembrance Day at 93 years old. Helga was loving, caring, selfless, devoted to her family, and had a charming, sarcastic wit. She was an amazing mother and grandmother and leaves us all with a gaping hole in our hearts.
Helga was born on September 22, 1929 in Vienna, Austria as an only child. In 1939, when she was only 9 years old, she was forced to take the Kindertransport alone to escape the start of WWII. After the bombing started, she was evacuated out of London. It was a difficult life, starting with Scarlet Fever and then being shifted from one foster home to another, many of which had harsh living conditions.
After the war was over, she moved to the United States in search of a place for her parents to live. They settled in NY where she met her husband and the love of her life, Lawrence Newman. Helga became a full time mom when Alan and Dena were born. When she wasn’t busy as their champion and chauffeur, she kept active in the PTA, NCJW, and League of Women Voters. In December 1957, Helga became an American citizen. When the kids were old enough, she worked part time at a photography shop and later for an accounting firm. After Lawrence died in 1988, she continued working as a bookkeeper and office manager.
Helga helped start the Kindertransport Association in the United States and was an integral part of the board for many years. After being reluctant to discuss her past, the KTA helped her share experiences of the war. She often gave presentations and interviews and was invited into classrooms to retell her story.
Helga was an avid opera, theater and symphony fan. She always had numerous subscriptions to the arts and regularly went to performances. She had binders filled with librettos, playbills and programs of every one she attended.
Upon retirement, she moved to California to be close to her children and grandchildren. When registration for JCC’s senior housing first opened, she was one of the first on the list. While living there, she made long-lasting friendships and stayed busy with numerous activities. She was an expert at wordplay, games, and puzzles and was often found solving crosswords, playing Scrabble, bridge, and mahjong, or dropping puns into a conversation. Helga loved telling jokes and kept her friends and family laughing (or groaning).
Helga's incredible caregivers were nurturing beyond compare and helped relieve her family of many difficult moments. We will always be most grateful to Teresa who loved and tended to Helga and stood by her during her peaceful transition.
Helga was predeceased by her parents, Stefanie and Paul Newhouse and her husband Lawrence. She is survived by her children Alan Newman and Dena N. Horeff, her grandchildren Laurel, Cale, and Davis, and numerous friends and relatives in the US and England.