Helen Pennella

Helen Pennella

1927 - 2023

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Obituary of Helen Pennella

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Helen “Elena” (née Ciardi)  Pennella, 95, of Dover, passed away Friday, June 23rd, 2023, at Visiting Nurses Association of Northern New Jersey Hospice, at Dover General Hospital. Helen was born in San Potito Ultra, Italy and came to New Jersey at the age of 2. She has been a lifelong resident of Dover since. 

Helen was an active volunteer in the community having served on the local shade tree commission where she was instrumental in having Dover named a “Tree City” USA. She was a member of the Dover Recreation Commission and was responsible for the cherry trees planted in Hurd Park. There is a cherry tree planted in that park with a plaque that states “Helen Pennella, Dover’s Ambassador to Trees”.  She was a long time member of the Dover Public Library Board and served for a time as its chairperson. She led the “Friends of the Library” which conducted the “Reading is Fundamental” program. For many years she also volunteered at the Sacred Heart school library. During her son’s early years she was involved in the establishment of the Dover Little League and was an officer in the Parent/Teacher Association. 

She was an active volunteer with Dover General Hospital for many years and when the existence of the hospital was challenged she became one of the strongest advocates for the campaign to save Dover General Hospital. She was a member of the group that spoke at public meetings and walked protest lines in front the hospital. The group was ultimately successful in saving the hospital. She was a long time Trustee and member of the Dover Area Historical Society and a member of the Dover Renaissance. She had been active in the Dover Women’s Club and was recently awarded a lifetime membership in the Catholic’s Daughters. Helen was inducted into the Dover High School Hall of Fame of Distinguished Alumni on April 26, 2009. 

Helen, along with her late husband Carmen, was Owner/Operator at Carmen's Luncheonette, Dover and retired in 1990 after 40 years. She loved getting to know all of the customers patronizing Carmen’s luncheonette. The customers included, not only school children from East Dover Elementary, but also the workers from McGregor’s Clothing Factory (Gunther Mills)  and Emerson Quiet Cool Manufacturing Plant, who became her lifelong friends. There is hardly a Dover student that does not remember Carmen’s Luncheonette with fond memories. 

Helen’s greatest joy was her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She babysat often and loved to go shopping for her grandchildren. 

Survived by her son David C. and his wife Lisa of Mendham Township, her adored grandchildren David Jr.,  Jessica, Allison and Kimberly and their families, including five great grandchildren, Sean, James, Noah, Sophia and Emma. She was predeceased by brothers Alfonso Ciardi and Dominic Ciardi and her sisters Domenica Bentrovato, Angelina Fiorino and Carita Buratti. 

Visitation Monday, June 26, 2023, 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Tuttle Funeral Home, 272 State Route 10 West, Randolph (www.tuttlefh.com ). 

 Funeral Mass Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 10:00 AM at Sacred Heart Church, Dover. Entombment will follow at Locust Hill Mausoleum, Dover.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Dover Area Historical Society or the Dover Free Public Library. 




3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Monday, June 26, 2023
Tuttle Funeral Home
272 State Route 10
Randolph, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

10:00 am
Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Sacred Heart Parish
4 Richards Ave
Dover, New Jersey, United States


Locust Hill Mausoleum
168 N Sussex Street
Dover, New Jersey, United States
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Helen Pennella

In Loving Memory

Helen Pennella

1927 - 2023

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