We are saddened to announce the passing of Helen Janet Factor, on Friday morning, at the age of 76.
Helen is remembered by her brother and sister-in-law, Abe and Kim Factor, her loving nephews and spouses, Ace Mc-Laurin Factor and Meredith Leigh Pleasants, Jay Andrew Factor and Danny Weiner and John Case Factor, and loving friends Maria Nena Llanas and Irma Granados.
Helen was born in postwar Munich, Germany, in 1947. She was the daughter of Lena (Getel Leia) and John (Jochanon) Factor, Polish Holocaust survivors. Her family moved from Germany to Omaha, Nebraska, in 1950 through the efforts of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. She grew up in Chicago and graduated from Sullivan High School in Rogers Park and from Roosevelt University where she obtained her Master's Degree in education.
Helen beat to her own drummer and did everything with 100 percent commitment. Her experience as an immigrant inspired her to fight for the rights of new immigrants. Helen spent many years traveling the roads of Southern California, advocating for and teaching immigrants English and giving them the tools to be productive and comfortable contributors to their new homes. She taught and advocated for immigrants until the age of 73 when her health prevented her from making the drive any longer.
Helen was a fiercely independent spirit who loved people and loved to be surrounded by them. She was a collector of causes and people and visited many twelve step programs as a means of building new communities of friends to advocate for them.
Helen was a proud radical lesbian who worked for many social justice causes. The Chicago Women's Graphic Art Collective was one of her favorite causes. She hosted and created many different Chavurot groups in Southern California. Her own unique connection to Judaism was very important to her and she recently spent a year in Israel as a volunteer English teacher.
In her final years in California, she was the last original member of her Long Beach neighborhood. She loved sitting on the porch and greeting new friends to the community. In her last years, she came to Fort Worth where her brother and sister, Abe and Kim, took care of her.
A memorial service will be held at Beth-El at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 12 with a reception to follow.
Helen's name will be read at Shabbat services this week and during the four-week period of mourning known as Sheloshim as well as during our weekday evening Minyan chapel service at 6 PM, Monday through Thursday.
Messages of condolence may be sent to Abe and Kim at the contact information in your temple directory or the online ShulCloud Directory.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions in her memory to the Jewish Family Services of Fort Worth and Tarrant County through the Jewish Federation or to Beth-El Congregation.
Hamakom Yenachem…May God bring comfort in time to the family of Helen Janet Factor and to all who knew and loved her.