Helen Christine Nielsen Manderson

SCARBOROUGH – Helen Christine Nielsen Manderson, 81, died peacefully at home on April 1, 2020 following a brief illness.She was born to Peter and Mary Josephine (Reardon) Nielsen on Feb. 6, 1939 in Portland. Her father died when she was young. She grew up with her mother, sister and stepfather John Perry in South Portland, and graduated from South Portland High School in 1957. Following high school, Helen attended Beverly Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1960. She worked for Maine Medical Center, Cutler Health Center at UMO, and Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Hanover, N.H., before returning to Maine Medical Center in 1968, where she worked in the nursing float pool until her retirement in 2005. Helen married Ernest Lawry Manderson in June 1963. They had two children, Christine and Thomas. After several years in Orono and New Hampshire, Helen and Ernest moved to Gorham in 1968 and remained there until 2018. She loved to garden, and spent many pleasant hours in the summer in her gardens. She was involved in many community organizations over the years. She attended St Anne’s Church in Gorham, was a long-time member of the Gorham Health Council and the Gorham Garden Club. Helen enjoyed traveling, taking yearly trips to Canada and also trips to Ireland, Alaska and western national parks. Helen was very talented at rug hooking, spent many hours hooking with her friends in rug hooking clubs, and created dozens of beautiful rugs that are cherished by family members. Helen was also an avid reader and enjoyed playing cards with her bridge group.Helen hosted countless family gatherings over the years – birthdays, holidays or just an excuse to have a lobster dinner. Many people have fond memories of the family Christmas parties in Gorham. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and attended many concerts, swim meets, plays and other events.Helen was predeceased by her husband Ernest of 54 years. She is survived by their two children, Christine and her husband Brian Peters of Topsham, and Thomas of Scarborough. She is also survived by her four grandchildren, Hannah and Ethan Peters and Neil and Andrew Manderson; her sister Martha and husband Louis Maguire and two sisters-in-law, Bernice (Bunny) and husband Charlie Stevens, and Jean Keefe; and many nieces and nephews. A burial service and gathering will be held at a date to be announced later.Memorial contributionsin honor of Helen may be made to:Gorham Food PantryP.O. Box 547Gorham, ME 04038