Family Login:

Share This Obituary

Send Flowers
 On-Line Flower Shop

Memories & Candles

“Our thoughts are with you and your families. Helene always had a smile when I spoke to her. Roberta and Larry Rosen ”
1 of 2 | Posted by: Robeta Rosen - Austin, TX

“I always enjoyed working with Helene at LBJ library. She was an interesting person and one of the most positive people I have met. Please accept...Read More ยป
2 of 2 | Posted by: Harriett Breihan

Helene Esther Simonson Abkowitz Bell was born on May 4, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY and expired on January 29, 2012 in Austin, TX.

Helene studied dietetics and nutrition at New York University and developed rations for GIs during World War II. After the war, she married Paul B. Abkowitz and moved to Pittsfield, MA to raise a family. She was founding president of Knesset Israel Sisterhood and was actively involved in Hadassah and other organizations. Tiring of volunteer work, she obtained an education degree from North Adams (MA) State College and enjoyed a 25-year career teaching Home Economics in the Pittsfield schools.

After the death of her husband and retirement from teaching, she traveled extensively. While on a retirement trip to Israel she met Bernard Bell. They soon married and traveled each winter and spent summers in Lenox, MA. After his death, she moved her winter home to Austin to be closer to her children and grandchildren. While in Austin, she was an enthusiastic participant in the UT LAMP program and volunteered extensively with the LBJ Library, several theaters, and other organizations. Her many years of volunteer work have been recognized by the Boston Symphony Orchestra/Tanglewood, Hadassah, LBJ Library, and other organizations.

She is survived by her brother Jerome Simonson of Sharon, CT; her daughter Linda Abkowitz Alba and Joe Alba; her son Michael Abkowitz and Patti Abkowitz; and grandchildren Jonathan Alba, Rebecca Abkowitz, and Paul Abkowitz, all of Austin.

Memorial services will be held at 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at Congregation Agudas Achim, 7300 Hart Lane, Austin, TX 78731. Burial services were held on Wednesday, February 1st at Knesset Israel Cemetery in Pittsfield, MA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the charity of your choice or Camp Young Judaea-Texas, 9647 Hillcroft, Houston, TX 77096.