General Information

Full Name: Helen Adele Pasternak
Date of Death: Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Helen Adele Pasternak (nee Berk) of Elmwood Park, NJ, died April 24, 2024, at 93.

Helen lived a full, rewarding life chasing after and ameliorating inequities in education while raising her children in Fair Lawn, NJ. She cherished camping and hiking with her family, instilling in everyone a love of the outdoors that continues generationally. She enjoyed traveling extensively across the globe in appreciation of art, music, and theater.

A formidable woman who loved deeply, argued intensely, and suffered no fools, Helen will be missed dearly by her family.

Helen is survived by her children, Donna Pasternak (Stanley Shulfer) of Wilmington, DE, Steven Pasternak of Elmwood Park, NJ, Scott Pasternak (Kallen Tsikalas) of Brooklyn, NY, and son-in-law Russell Guy of Franklin, NJ; her grandchildren, Jason Guy (Pamela Adamo), Bryan Guy, Rebecca Guy (John Ives), Halcyanna Pasternak and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Predeceased by her loving husband of 27 years, Harold “Pat” Pasternak; her eldest daughter, Robyn Pasternak Guy; her parents, Max and Frieda Berk; and her two brothers, Albert “Sonny” Berk and Sidney Berk.

Helen will be laid to rest at the family plot at Mount Lebanon Cemetery in Iselin, NJ.

Raised in the Bronx, Helen moved to New Jersey upon her marriage to Pat, where she, at first, concentrated on being a housewife and mother. Being a restless mother, she became active in many volunteer organizations, ranging from the girl scouts to The Order the Eastern Star to, eventually, becoming a community advocate, leading education initiatives to equitably serve children in New Jersey. Enjoying the life that these more active endeavors provided a young mother, Helen joined the family real estate management firm in the Bronx, eventually certifying as an insurance broker, tax preparer, and managing partner of the firm, who handled the legal side of the business. Helen thrived on working with attorneys and learning the ins and outs of property management. After shutting down the real estate business, Helen began selling office supplies, driving all over northern New Jersey and New York City, meeting new people and enjoying a new career challenge. Once she retired in her 60s, Helen’s thirst for knowledge led her to study creative writing and English at William Paterson University, where she was recruited into the Honors Program, thrilled to study alongside       18-year- olds who valued her experience. Only dropping out of school to care for her aging parents, Helen concentrated on enjoying her family, especially her grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the nurses and aides on the Palliative and Hospice Care floor of Valley Hospital for their kindnesses.

Expressions of sympathy in Helen’s memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

A repast meal will follow the graveside service at Dominic’s Italian Restaurant at 453 Avenel Street, Avenel, NJ

Service Information

Friday, April 26, 2024
11:00 AM

Service At:
Mount Lebanon Cemetery
189 Gill Ln, Iselin, NJ 08830



Get Directions to Louis Suburban Chapel


  1. Heather

    I have had the honor of knowing Helen, who I lovingly refer to as Grandma, for over 10 years. Being Beka’s grandma, she has felt like mine, too. The Guy family has been my second family since 2011. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to see Grandma, and hug her, at the engagement party. She managed to make me cry and make me laugh while I caught up with her there. The tears were bittersweet; shed at the beauty of her long life, the reality of her long life, and of her presence for Beka on that wonderful day. I know how much her being there meant to Beka, and it brings me to tears thinking about it again now. I love you Grandma, you will be immensely missed.. tell Mom I said hi.. and both of you, keep watching over my girl here. <3

    • Scott

      So Sweet


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