by Louise L. Palm

helen gillikinHelen Gillikin served Stony Point Center for almost 30 years as a volunteer in the Business Office. She sat at a desk right outside my office, always there, always beautifully dressed, always smiling, never complaining. In fact, I had known her for several years before I realized that she wore a hearing aid!

When I first met Helen, she was a Branch Manager in a local bank and a member of the Stony Point Presbyterian Church. After she retired from the bank, she volunteered to help us at the Center, bringing her considerable expertise to the Business Office at a time when we had just reopened the Center and such help was badly needed. Whatever task she undertook, she did so with a quiet competency, a strong faith, a giving spirit and unwavering loyalty. During these busy years, Helen also always set aside time for travel with her husband, Bill.

Helen was a friend of the Center in the deepest sense of the word. She was among the group in the Stony Point Presbyterian Church who were instrumental in encouraging, yea, pressuring, the national Church to purchase the Missionary Orientation Center in 1975. Indeed, one could say, if it were not for Helen and her friends there might not be a Stony Point Center today. Helen was also an original “Friend of Stony Point Center” and remained so throughout her life. She was very clear about her convictions, yet she also was willing to listen to -- and make space for -- others who thought differently.

As a hobby, Helen made beautiful aprons which she sold, giving the proceeds to the Veterans of Rockland County. I shall always remember Helen when I wear my beautiful apron, recalling her smile as she helped me select the color.

I give thanks to God for the gift of her life.