Helen was a loving and outgoing mother and friend. She was forever giving and caring, but never liked being cared for. She always wanted to do things herself, all the way to the end. Maybe that is why she made it to the ripe old age of 94.
Born Helen Louise Waddy in Riverbank, California, she was the daughter of Minnie and Clarence Waddy. As the oldest of seven, Helen helped raise her brothers and sisters and dropped out of school after ninth grade to help at home. She also started working for a local cannery. It was there that she met Paul Ferrara. He was her supervisor and took a liking to Helen. To get her attention, he would drop tomatoes on her from the catwalk. They started dating and after less than a year, they were married in1938.
They moved to the Los Angeles area when Paul started working for Vultee Aircraft Corp. In 1940, Helen gave birth to their first child, Joe. In 1947, they moved to La Jolla when Paul was transferred to Convair (later General Dynamics). In 1950, they had their second child, Dennis. As a long-time La Jollan, Helen had many friends in the community. The merchants, during the years she made her daily treks to the Village, loved her. Her special personality drew people to her.
Helen is survived by her sons, Joe of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and Dennis of La Jolla; three grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sisters, Lola Mellen of Modesto and Dolly Lockhart of Riverbank; and brother, Robert Waddy also of Riverbank, CA.
To quote a family friend, Barbara Baisch, "Helen was so beautiful and loved by so many. She spent a lifetime filling our baskets with wonderful memories and her love. She is forever engraved in our hearts and remembered with her gentle smile."
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 2:00 PM at Pathways Community Church, 9626 Carlton Hills Boulevard, Santee.