Helen Hackney

Helen R. Hackney

1930 - 2020

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Obituary of Helen R. Hackney

Helen Hackney, 89, formerly of Mendham, NJ, passed away on April 29, 2020 at Heath Village, Hackettstown as a result of the COVID 19 virus. Born May 9, 1930 in Whippany, NJ, she was the daughter of Nicholas and Stella Rusak. She is predeceased by three sisters: Alga Payack, Anna Chayka, Jennie Raupp and two brothers: Mike Rusak and Paul Rusak. Although Helen didn’t have any children, she did have eleven nieces and nephews. Helen’s early life was mostly spent on the Rusak Whippany farm with her parents and 5 siblings. Growing up on a farm was quite different than our lives today as evidenced by Helen’s many humorous farm stories. Helen went on to Morristown High School and Tech School to become a beautician and hair stylist. After completing school, some very special changes began to take place for Helen. She met William Hackney, who within a short time became Helen’s husband almost 50 memorable years until his passing on June 9, 2000. Shortly after marriage, Helen embarked on a business venture with her close friend, Phyllis Bredbennner. Together they established Philene’s Beauty Salon on Washington St. in Morristown. They worked side by side as business partners for over fifty years. Helen’s welcoming personality and many talents will be remembered by friends and family. An invitation for dinner was anticipated as if you were invited to the finest restaurant. With the smell of delicious homemade food, her beautiful table setting, and the ambience of a nicely decorated home, everyone was always ready for a fabulous evening. Helen’s cheese cake, crumb cake, and chocolate cake were rated highly among the many scrumptious things she baked. Helen and her husband spent a lot of time together making their home into something warm and welcoming. Helen loved gardening and would spend many spring and summer days in the gardens. She was also well known for her beautiful floral and seasonal decorations. It wasn’t all work and being home for Helen and her husband. Both loved to travel and visited places like the Caribbean islands, Hawaii and Europe many times. They would often shop while traveling and these items were used to make their home even more interesting. Helen would have been 90 on May 9th and had many memories of all she accomplished during a life well lived. Those of us who were lucky enough to know her will never forget a woman whose life gently touched others. A private service will be held at Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover. Because of the extenuating circumstances of COVID-19, there will be no service at the funeral home. As a result, no flowers will be accepted. As a longtime resident of Mendham Township, Helen would love those wishing to make a donation to make it instead to the Mendham Township First Aid Squad. The address is 2 West Main St. PO Box 122, Brookside, NJ 07926.
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