Helen Schmidlen Adams, 83

June 27, 2019

Helen Schmidlen Adams, 83, of Lititz, PA, passed away on June 27, 2019 at Brethren Village, with her husband William H. Adams by her side. They had just celebrated 62 years of marriage.

Born in Sheffield, PA, she was the daughter of the late Otto and Mamie (Hertig) Schmidlen and one of five siblings.

Helen graduated from Juniata College with a B.A. in literature after which she taught high school English. Her life’s work as a dedicated volunteer for many organizations began when she moved to Lancaster with her husband. She was passionate about issues that affected women and spent her life advocating for them through her volunteerism. The list includes Girl Scouts, American Association of University Women, Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County, Women’s Alliance, YWCA, Planned Parenthood, Women in Politics, and the Lancaster County Commission on Women. She was a woman who stepped up at every turn to put her beliefs into action. Helen was recognized by multiple organizations for her leadership. The YWCA acknowledged her as Woman of the Year in 1985. She was presented the Jean Royer Kohr Award in 1991. She was awarded the Girl Scouts Thanks Badge (the highest honor for an adult) by the Penn Laurel Council in 1981 and again in 1995, an unprecedented honor.

When Helen wasn’t busy volunteering for community organizations, she gave her time to her alma mater, Juniata College. From fundraiser to trustee to Alumni Council president, she was generous with her time and talent. The college recognized Helen and Bill with the Outstanding Service Award for their volunteerism in 1995.

In 1990, Helen stepped up to coordinate the “Women in Politics” course through Millersville University and the YWCA. Two years later she decided to practice what she preached. She became a candidate for the office of township supervisor, not the endorsed one, and beat her opponent two to one in the primary. She won the election, was re-elected 6 years later, and proudly served the residents of Lancaster Township as a supervisor for 12 years.

Somehow, Helen still found time for her favorite hobbies, including playing tennis, fly fishing, birding, listening to classical music and chocolate.

Surviving in addition to her husband, Bill, is a daughter, Debra Adams (Joe Costello) of Alta, WY; a son, Kurt Adams of Lancaster, PA and a grandson, Sean McGregor of Linn Grove, IA.

Friends will be received from 1:30-2 PM with a Celebration of Helen’s Life Service to begin at 2 PM on Monday, July 8, 2019 at the Brethren Village Chapel, 3001 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, please honor Helen’s passion for women’s issues by contributing to Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County. Arrangements entrusted to Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, PA 17543. 717-560-5100

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Condolences to the Family

July 07, 2019

My condolences to Bill,Debra and Kurt also to other family members. Helen always stood by her beliefs in an excellent manner.
Tony Allen

July 03, 2019

I have many fond memories of sharing Girl Scouting with Helen. We were on the Board of Directors together and she was a wonderful mentor to me. We continued to serve on committees together and she was always a positive influence and role model for me. She touched many lives and will be remembered for her contributions to women. I am glad I was in her circle of friends.
Flora H Poulos

July 03, 2019

 Bill, I was saddened to learn of Helen’s passing. I will pray for you and your entire family in the coming days.  Lee Addie, Fort Myers Florida

July 03, 2019

 Helen, From the moment I moved to Lancaster some 35 years ago and met you at the YWCA, I knew I had met a very special lady. You inspired so many. You never settled for just OK and had no problem letting others know you expected more than most. You were loved for those high standards. You can now rest from a busy life well lived.

July 03, 2019

Thank you, Helen.  You have touched so many lives through your intelligence, courage and encouragement.  A role model with steady, clear counsel you have and will continue to guide women.
With deep appreciation and love,

July 03, 2019

Rest well my sweet God Mother.  You will be missed.
Karin M Kindt

Monday, July 08, 2019
1:30 PM - 2:00 PM
Brethren Village Chapel
3001 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA
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Monday, July 08, 2019
2:00 PM
Brethren Village Chapel
3001 Lititz Pike
Lititz, PA
Map and Directions

Get Maps and Directions >
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