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Lillian's Story

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NORTH ANDOVER - Lillian R. Joaquin Helfrich, 90, passed away peacefully on January 18, 2018, with her family by her side.
Lillian, the daughter of the late Manuel and Mary (Piexhote) Joaquin, was born on March 26, 1927, in Lawrence, Mass. She was educated in the Lawrence Public School System and graduated from the Chamberlain School of Retailing in Boston in 1946 when she began her long career in retail and merchandising at R.H. White's in Boston. Lillian married Harold A. Helfrich, Jr. on August 26, 1951, and moved to Chicago where they both started their careers and family.
She worked at Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., State Street, Chicago, as an Assistant Buyer. After moving to Streamwood, Ill., Lillian and Harold were active parishioners of St. John the Evangelist Church. Along with raising three children, she was instrumental in developing the first school library at St. John's, volunteered countless hours in the office and classrooms supporting children in their Catholic education. She partnered with her husband in the local United Way and community associations. Illinois friends describe Lillian as bringing a touch of class and New England charm to the community.
Her family moved to North Andover in 1972 where she returned to her career. Lillian's talent and love of fashion was seen along Essex Street in Lawrence and on Main Street in Andover at Macartney's where she designed window displays. Lillian shared her instinct for fashion with her customers always putting together the perfect outfit and accessory. She remained an employee until Macartney's closed their doors in 1993.
Lillian was a member of St. Michael's Church in North Andover. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold A. Helfrich, Jr. She is survived by her children, Hillary (Helfrich) Boffetti and her husband, Dr. Paul Boffetti; Erica (Helfrich) Nelson and her husband, Barry Nelson; and her son, Christopher and his wife, Paula Helfrich. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Erich and his wife, Hailey Helfrich, and their daughter, Lillian Kay; Peter Murley and Alexis Helfrich and their daughter, Eleanor Sage; Katherine Boffetti, Corinne Nelson, Benjamin Helfrich, Stephen Boffetti, Carl Nelson, and Christian James Helfrich.
She is also survived by her sisters, Eunice (Joaquin) McCarthy of McDonough, Ga., and Carol (Joaquin) McGuire of North Andover, Mass., and numerous nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved.
Relatives and friends are invited to call on Lillian on Friday, January 26, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the John Breen Memorial Funeral Home, 35 Merrimack St., North Andover, MA. Her funeral Mass and life will be celebrated on Saturday, January 27, at 10 a.m. in St. Michael's Church, 196 Main St., North Andover. Her burial will follow in the Ridgewood Cemetery in North Andover. For online condolences and other information, please visit www.breenfuneralhome.com.
Memorial Contributions may be made to Lazarus House in her name by calling 978- 269-5215, or emailing stewardship@lazarushouse.org.
Published on January 23, 2018
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