Helen Cap, 88, of Belmar, New Jersey, loving wife and mother passed away on October 1, 2021.
Helen was born in Newark, New Jersey, daughter to Victoria and George Petropoulos, and was a proud first generation American. Her father had a successful restaurant, The Central Coffee Pot, in Newark's Farmer's Market where Helen was often found helping out behind the register or swapping her shoe rations for sugar rations during World War II. She enjoyed summers at the Jersey Shore where she would swim in the ocean, stroll the boardwalk with her sister Persephone and go fishing with her brother Peter.
After graduating Barringer High School, Helen went to secretarial school then on to become the secretary to the head of advertising at Bamberger's and was featured in several print ads. On New Year's Eve 1964, John Cap, Jr. of Bayonne, NJ, was lucky enough to be set up on a blind date with Helen, which resulted in a wedding the following June on Flag Day and a marriage of 57 years.
Helen and John raised their three daughters Johanna, Stephanie, and Andrea in West Orange. Helen was a nurturing mother and immersed her daughters in their ethnic cultures by taking them to Greek school and Slavic dancing lessons, making Ukrainian pysanky eggs with them, and keeping holiday traditions. Helen also enjoyed cooking and taught her daughters how to make traditional foods of their family's Greek and Russian heritages.
Helen was an active and life-long member of her church, SS. Nicholas, Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church where she held many roles including Philoptochos Vice President and Treasurer and was awarded Mother of the Year in 2009. Helen loved her Greek Orthodox community of friends and tirelessly volunteered at her church by baking, working at festivals and knitting blankets for AIDS babies and patients.
Helen enjoyed reading, gardening and sewing. She was known for making award winning Halloween costumes for her children and superhero capes for her grandchildren. She loved going to the boardwalk and playing games with her grandchildren who affectionately called her Yia Yia. She also loved to entertain and always wore a beautiful smile as she welcomed friends and family to her home. Her many friends regarded her as a friend who was there for you when you needed her. Helen also volunteered her time for the Alzheimer's Association.
During her long marriage to John, they traveled to Greece, Egypt, Russia, London, Belgium and France and spent their retirement in Belmar where they would enjoy evenings going to local concerts and sitting on their porch.
Helen is survived by her husband John Cap, and their daughters Johanna Cap Gatch, Stephanie Sackariasen and her husband Kurt, Andrea Kruger and her husband Mike; Grandchildren Alexis, Kurt, Lily, Mia and Violet.
A viewing will be held at Gaita Memorial Home, 154 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Little Falls, NJ 07424, on Monday, October 4, 2021 from 4 PM to 8 PM with a Parastas blessing and memorial at 7 PM. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 10 AM at SS Nicholas, Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 82 Laurel Avene, Roseland, NJ 07068- please meet directly at church- followed by a 1 PM burial at St. Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Cemetery, 316 Cassville Road, Jackson, NJ 08527 and repass in Neptune.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy research at www.psp.org or you can mail a check made out to Cure PSP to Cure PSP, 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001. Envelopes will also be provided by the funeral home during visiting hours.