Nancy Helbourg, 47, a longtime teacher and a member of the Rockaway Township Board of Education, lost her battle with acute myeloid leukemia June 16.
Diagnosed April 24, 2021, Nancy battled like a true warrior. As one of her favorite songs said, “She got knocked down, but she got up again.”
Born Dec. 25, 1974, to Patrick and Christene McCarthy, she graduated from North Bergen High School, and met her future husband, Keith Helbourg, at William Paterson College.
She dedicated her life to education, teaching mathematics 24 years. She spent most of her career at Passaic Valley Regional High School.
She served on the Rockaway Township Board of Education from 2017 until her death. She was a Certified Board Leader, Master Board Member and Certified Board Member. She was a member of the New Jersey School Boards Association’s Legislative Committee, Resolutions Subcommittee and Strategic Plan Committee.
“Nancy was a deeply devoted and talented educator, an invested SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) member, a dedicated coach, and an invaluable board of education member who was an advocate passionately interested in issues that affect all children,” said Lisa Mezik, president of the Rockaway Township Board of Education. “It’s impossible to adequately describe the influence Nancy has had on our greater community and what a tremendous impact her loss will have on us.”
She enjoyed playing and watching softball, coaching, going on vacations with family, the shore, taking hikes, and Geocaching. What Nancy loved most was sharing a bottle of wine with good friends and breaking bread with family.
She left behind many who loved her: her husband, Keith; their two children, Jacklyn and Zachary; her loving dogs, Star and Buzz; her parents, Patrick and Christene McCarthy; her brother, Marc and his wife, Yana, and their four children; and countless aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please donate blood. It is in very low supply, and it kept Nancy going during her battle with cancer. Monetary donations can be made to help support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.