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Helen Selma Barbary

Helen S. Barbary, 101, of Phillipsburg, NJ passed peacefully on Friday, October 15, 2021.

Born April 29, 1920 in Paterson, NJ and lived most of her life in Phillipsburg, NJ, she was the daughter of the late Nicholas and Mary Suffy Nicnick.

Helen had a life filled with faith, family, friends, and fun. She believed in service to others–her community, friends and family. Helen served her country as an assembly line worker at Chipman’s defense plant during World War II and worked at the election polls in Warren County for many years. She was a skilled seamstress and enjoyed sharing this skill with others for decades. Many relied on her quick, nimble, polished, and creative work. In 1946, Helen married Anthony P. Barbary, “Tony”, and the two were happily married for 54 years. Together, Helen and Tony were active members of St. Philip and St. James Church and their community. They had a large social circle and their calendar was packed with card clubs, group trips, and plenty of adventure and laughter! Helen and Tony had a wonderful life together that included many memorable trips–cruises, a Hawaiian getaway, and a trip of a lifetime to the middle east, highlighting the Holy Lands as well as to their ancestral home in Syria. Helen cultivated new friendships, while staying close and connected to her many lifelong friends. She enjoyed cooking, entertaining, playing cards, and spending time outside. She loved gardening and took pride in her impeccably manicured garden highlighting beautiful rose bushes, along with fruits and vegetables that could rival any Jersey produce. Helen enjoyed sitting on the porch, sipping her cup of coffee and chatting with neighbors. The neighborhood children especially loved spending time with “Ms Helen”. She always made time to listen to their stories and laugh together. Helen was a fabulous homemaker, known for her extraordinary cooking skills and making family dinners a top priority. Every Sunday, her family would gather to enjoy her home-cooked meals, highlighting countless Syrian dishes. She also spent time crafting and curating the perfect holiday experiences, making sure each one was special and memorable. And of course, there was always an abundance of food and laughter. Beyond cooking for family and friends, she used her talents to provide food to those in need through various charitable organizations. Helen also volunteered as president of Firth School PTA and participated in various groups, including Over 50s club and Catholic Daughters of America.

Helen is survived by her three children, Diane Volk and her husband Duane of Lopatcong, NJ; Elaine Rohaly and her husband Dennis of Palmer Township, PA; and Samuel Barbary and his wife Sherrill of Atlantic City, NJ. She had 5 grandchildren–Breanne (Volk) Sweeney, Brittanie Volk, Drew Rohaly, Derek Rohaly, and Mark Barbary. She took great pride in her 5 great grandchildren; Brynn and Blake Sweeney, Riley Rohaly, and Theo and Wes Rohaly. She is also survived by two nephews, James Nicnick and David Nicknick. She was predeceased by her husband, Anthony, two brothers, Samuel and Joseph and three sisters, Mary Elizabeth, Evelyn, and Lillian, and a nephew Joseph Nicnick.

Helen’s life will be honored at Finegan Funeral Home, 302 Heckman Street Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865. Calling hours will be Thursday, October 21, 2021, 8-9:30 AM with funeral services to follow at 10am at St Philip and St. James Catholic Church, 430 South Main St., Phillipsburg, N.J.  Interment will be at the St. Philip & St. James Catholic Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or charity of your choice.