Born: December 19, 1927, 3:25 AM, Orange NJ
Helen Huber, former Co-Director of Education of NCGR, succumbed to cancer on June 9, only a few days after the deaths of Lois Rodden and Zip Dobyns. It is fitting that she should be part of that triad of astrologers who left this world together. While she never attained the notoriety that the other two achieved, Helen was content to be exactly who she was: a solid "nuts and bolts" astrologer, a youthful, fun-loving friend, a tireless worker, and an endless source of support for her NCGR family. To her husband of 54 years, Frank, and their 4 children and six grandchildren, she was a star - a gentle and encouraging guiding light.
Helen Huber was an early member of NCGR and of the Northern New Jersey Chapter. She served that chapter in various capacities including a number of years as Vice President and President. She was their first Education Chair and one of the astrologers who met to create NCGR's curriculum at the conclave held in Princeton in 1980. I can still recall her enthusiasm and excitement when she reported the details of the program to our chapter. She served for many years on the National Education Committee chaired by Joan Negus. She was so invaluable to Joan that when Joan became too ill with cancer to continue to serve on the Board in 1997, she recommended Helen (along with Bruce Scofield) as her replacement.
In the early 90's, Helen Huber became the Treasurer for national conferences. No glamorous job here -- just lots of hard work -- keeping everything straight, handling complaints and problems galore and always with a smile. Helen also took on another unenviable task several times -- chairing the Nominating Committee and preparing the election Ballots for mailing. Having had the pleasure of overseeing this task once myself, I can tell you first hand that it is a monumental job. (And, having done it that one time, we now farm it out to a fulfillment house.) Helen never asked for recognition and never lobbied for a seat or a vote on the Board. She actually seemed surprised when she was appointed to one.
Helen is one of the very first people I met in astrology. We worked side by side as chapter officers in New Jersey. Since I began my study of astrology with the Uranian method, she unselfishly helped me to fill in the gaps in my initial education - the more traditional methods of chart interpretation like derived houses and dispositors. During those years, Helen also worked as a tour guide for a bus company that would take senior citizens on trips to New England, Washington DC, etc. She always had a legion of funny stories and she usually could find out enough about the subject's horoscope to make it educational as well. I was quite flattered that she would occasionally ask me to teach her astrology class at the local high school if she happened to be away and she eagerly shared her techniques about how to present astrology to a beginner's group. An avid researcher, one of her special interests was correlating the incidence of heart disease in individuals with the Uranus/Neptune quincunx in Pisces/Leo.
Deeply spiritual as well as religious, Helen exemplified the idea of "selfless service." For this reason, the NCGR Board voted to rename the Sisyphus Award for Dedicated Service to NCGR in Helen's memory. Henceforth, it will be called the Helen Huber Sisyphus Award and will serve as a reminder to us all of what she meant to NCGR. It is not the laundry list of her work that is most important. Rather, it is how she gave her heart and soul to our efforts. Farewell, dear Helen -- we'll see you in the stars!
I had the pleasure of working with Helen in another field and of course, astrology would come up. I did take a class of her's but never really pursued it, what the heck, I worked with her, I had a personal astrologer. Helen wherever you are, I still think my chart is wrong! Although thinking back, I was in my 20s and maybe now I'm who she said I was. She always said you don't really "grow up" until your 30. That's when you become the person you're going to be.
It's been over 15 years since we worked together and occasionally, I find myself asking "is Mercury in retrograde?" and then checking the computer. Come to think of it, I can't seem to finish anything lately, is Mercury in Retrograde Helen?
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CREDITS: Madalyn Hillis-Dineen wrote the tribute. This memorial and the graphics on it were created by Donna Cunningham. The photo was donated by Arlene Nimark. The animation is from Eye Cand.