Helen A. Palmer, 70, of Quincy passed away Oct. 24, 2013, following a sudden illness. She was the loving companion of more than 20 years to the late Richard R. MacLaren, who died in 2005. Born in Quincy, she was a daughter of the late Margaret and Leo Ekbom Sr. She worked for 22 years as a collector with the MBTA, retiring in 2004, and was a member of the Boston Carmens Union, Local 589. Helen loved animals and occasionally participated in efforts to rescue cats. She is remembered as a loving and loyal person who would go out of her way to help a friend, whether it was giving a ride to someone in need, or just being there to offer the gift of her friendship. Her happiest times were those spent in the company of her loving family. She was the loving mother of Daniel L. Palmer of Rockland, MaryAnne Foster and husband Ernest of Allston, and the late James C. Palmer Jr. and Diana M. Palmer; dear sister of Leo Ekbom Jr. and wife Merabeth of Plymouth, Sally Russell and husband Robert of Weymouth, Leona Magnarelli and husband Gary of Wilmont, N.H., Edith Menz of Quincy and Donna Brodeur and husband Richard of Quincy; cherished grandmother of Nicole and Stephen Bruning, Shauna Ekbom and Ryan, Cassidy, Matthew and Grace Palmer; and great-grandmother of Marissa Flynn. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, extended family and close friends. Her funeral, to which relatives and friends are cordially invited, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m. at the Hamel, Wickens & Troupe Funeral Home, 26 Adams St., Quincy Center. Interment to follow at Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree. Visiting hours Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations in Helens memory may be made to Quincy Animal Shelter, 56 Broad St., Quincy, MA 02169.