Cover photo for Helene Joy Cohen's Obituary
Helene Joy Cohen Profile Photo
1957 Helene 2023

Helene Joy Cohen

September 24, 1957 — November 8, 2023


Helene Joy Cohen, affectionately known as “Mama Jew” of Montague, Massachusetts left her Earthly body on November 8th 2023 in Gardner, MA, surrounded by loved ones after two months of hospice care.

Helene was born on September 24th, 1957 to Bernard and Ida Cohen in New York, New York and was given the middle name Joy because “she was a joy to give birth to”, and continued to be a joy to the world around her.  Her radiant and welcoming warmth and unyielding spirit was a beacon to all who knew her.

She graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx, NY in 1975. Helene enjoyed travelling and city life before having children. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1986 with her former spouse Frank Lempert, and had two children, Benjamin and Aaron.

Helene worked as a secretary in New York and dedicated her career to Good Will until her retirement in 2012. Her unwavering commitment to helping others at home and in her work life made her a cherished member of her community. She was an example of kindness and compassion, always ready with comforting words or a good meal.

Her children both lived an unconventional life fueled by music, and Helene was always there to support and welcome them and their friends on their endless adventures. She fed people, housed people, and helped people get back on their feet during difficult times. She was the mom that many would turn to when their own family was not there.

Helene loved travelling, eating out, enjoying music, cooking, going to sports events, and gathering with friends and family. She would be described as fun loving, open-hearted, funny, and unapologetically herself.

Helene was a beloved mother, friend, and a beacon of hope who left an indelible mark on all she met. Her legacy will be carried forward by her son Aaron Lempert and his wife Rachel Lempert, her two beloved granddaughters, Maia and Ayla Lempert, and her two brothers Richard and Neil Cohen.

Helene is predeceased by her son Benjamin Lempert, her parents Bernard and Ida Cohen and her beloved pets Gizmo and Zamora.

We invite you to share your memories of Helene, to celebrate her life, and keep her spirit alive. Feel free to leave cherished memories and upload photos to her memorial page.

A celebration of life will be held at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center,100 Adams Ave, Scranton, PA 18503 from 5-10pm.

Please email to RSVP and for further details. This is a private event.

In Lieu of flowers, please donate to the Divided Sky Foundation at

Mack Family Funeral Homes, 105 Central Street, Gardner, MA is assisting with Helene's arrangements.

Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, and Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helene Joy Cohen, please visit our flower store.


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