Helena Howard Cole, a long-time resident of Los Altos Hills and descendant of the San Mateo/Hillsborough founding Howard family, died Thursday the 1st of August, 2019, in her own home in which she lived for 61 years. Born in 1924 in San Mateo, California, to Helene and Joseph Henry Poett Howard, Helena grew up with her beloved sister, Joan, in San Mateo. During the 2nd World War, Helena attended the Branson's School for Girls in Marin County in the late 30's and early 40's. After graduating, she went on to follow her dreams of farming at Kimberton Farm in Pennsylvania. Helena married Nathaniel Parker Cole III on June 21, 1944 and they built their own home, naming it Full House Farm.
And, it was indeed a full house, as Helena always left her heart open to all who wished to come. Her garden was always lush and full of fresh vegetables and fruits, which she shared liberally. Besides the many people in her life whom she loved unconditionally, there were always dogs. Helena loved each of her dogs with abandon, as she did her cats, horses, and chickens. Her last dog was with her the day she passed, nose on her arm. Helena worked with autistic children and adults for many years. She began this endeavor at Peninsula Children's Center in Portola Valley and then moved on to The Morgan Center, staying there 25 years until her retirement. Helena’s big heart was only matched by her beautiful big smile. In her quiet, unassuming way, she was a leader and a women’s advocate. She lived a cutting-edge life without trying. Helena was brave and strong (strongest handshake ever) to the day she passed. Helena is survived by her six children, thirteen grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, two sisters and one brother, as well as fourteen nieces and nephews and their families.