Helene Lecar, lively longtime League leader, died on Sept. 22, 2021, after several years of declining health. Helene was widely knowledgeable about local schools. She was energetic in pursuing her concerns and eager to report them to her League colleagues. Year after year, she made sure students at Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College were registered to vote. She followed Peralta Community Colleges activities, particularly Berkeley City College, starting way back when it was known as Vista Community College and was treated rather as a stepchild of the Peralta Colleges, without a building or a mission of its own. Over several years, she observed the Peralta School Board and reported on its doings and failures to local League members. Helene chaired the League’s statewide study and consensus about community college issues in 2003 and served as off-board director on the issue until about 2011. She served as President of the Peralta committee to oversee the implementation of bond measure A, passed by voters in 2006, which was to provide capital funds to build Berkeley City College and improve facilities at other colleges.
Helene was also a longtime and enthusiastic tenor in the Berkeley Community Chorus.
Helene started her own higher education at Barnard College studying medieval English literature from 1954-58 and later, in the early 1990’s, earned a masters degree in teaching English as a second language. Along the way, she and her husband Harold, known as Hal, a UC professor of Biophysics and Neurobiology, raised two sons, Matt and Josh, and enjoyed three grandchildren.Helene’s sons Matt and Josh hope to organize a memorial gathering, perhaps in the spring, when covid will have subsided and travel will be easier.
A longtime friend wrote a perceptive portrait of Helene which you can read here.
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