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Helene M. Whitaker

October 13, 1949 — June 22, 2022

Helene M. Whitaker, 72, of Bethlehem, died on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Surrounded by her family and close friends, she passed peacefully in St. Lukes Hospital after a brief illness. Born in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of the late Joseph F. Whitaker and Marie D. (Simon) Whitaker.

Helene Whitaker had 31 years of experience in government relations at Northampton Community College, where her responsibilities also included human resources, labor relations, institutional research, and planning. She is credited with dramatically expanding the colleges service to students and the community by playing a key role in securing the public funding needed to construct a $72-million campus in Monroe County and the $20-million conversion of a former Bethlehem Steel office building on Bethlehems South Side to the Fowler Campus, a center of education and workforce development now utilized by more than 30,000 people annually. Whitaker retired in June 2016 as vice president of administrative affairs and was awarded emeritus status upon retirement.

On the state level, Whitaker played a lead role in government relations for the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges, a coalition of 14 community colleges.

Prior to working at Northampton Community College, Helene was a community and government affairs representative in the public affairs department at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. She held Master of Arts degrees in public administration from Lehigh University and in government from Villanova University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cedar Crest College.

In 2016, Helene joined J.M. Uliana & Associates, working with clients on appropriations, economic development, and education issues.

Whitakers commitment to the advancement of the community extended to service on numerous boards, including the Northampton County General Purpose Authority, the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, ArtsQuest, Cedar Crest College, LANTA, Turning Point, LifePath, and the City of Bethlehems Zoning Commission and Fine Arts Commission.

She was the recipient of many awards including the Girls Scouts Woman of Distinction Award, the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerces Athena Award, the Pennsylvanians with Disabilities Award, the YWCAs Bethlehem Woman of the Year Award, and Cedar Crest Colleges Associate Award. She was also a White House Fellow National Finalist.

Throughout her life, Helene was an ardent advocate of the arts, womens rights, and Democratic politics. She was also an avid supporter of the citys summer MusikFest, at which she was always a fixture.

Survivors: Sister: Amy Whitaker (and her children Joseph, Julia, and Jacqueline Jaspers). Brothers: Tim Whitaker (and his wife Hagit and their daughter Emma); Joseph Whitaker (and his wife Mary Ruhe-Whitaker and their children Miriam and John); Stephen Whitaker (and his wife Carol Fridirici and their son Adam); Tony Whitaker (and his wife Lisa Hahn and their children Marley, Shayla, Jackie and Keira). Helene was predeceased by brother Mark G. Whitaker, stepmother Helen Sanders Whitaker, and brother-in-law Frederik Jaspers.

Services: A Celebration of Helenes life is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29th at 3:30 in the Susan K. Kubik Tribute Garden at Northampton County College in Bethlehem. Parking spaces are being reserved in Parking Lot D on the main campus.

Contributions: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Helene M. Whitaker Fund at Northampton Community College. Visit or call 610-332-6344.

Celebration of Life
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
3:30 PM
Northampton Community College
3835 Green Pond Rd.
Bethlehem PA 18020

Funeral HomeConnell Funeral Home, Inc.
245 East Broad St.
Bethlehem PA - 18018

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helene M. Whitaker, please visit our flower store.

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