Helen Chooljian

Obituary of Helen Chooljian

Helen Newman Chooljian, 84, of Princeton passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2017 at her residence with her beloved husband and her longtime aide at her side.

Born July 5, 1932 to Lois and Joseph Percy Newman in White Plains, New York. Helen spent her childhood and youth in Cleveland, Ohio where her father was a publishing executive. She inherited a lifelong love of reading and literature from her father. In 1950 Helen graduated from Shaw High School and went on to Wellesley College where she majored in English. While at Wellesley she met her future husband, Martin A. Chooljian, a student at Harvard Business School. They married on April 16, 1955.

Martin and Helen spent the next few years in Dayton, Ohio while he was serving in the United States Air Force as a lieutenant. Their first child, Anne, was born there. Several happy years followed in Palo Alto and Atherton California where their second daughter Cynthia was born and where Martin worked as a Vice President at Litton Industries while Helen perfected her skills as a mother and homemaker.

In 1964 the family relocated to Princeton, New Jersey after Martin made the decision to go into business for himself. Helen enthusiastically endorsed the plan which showed quite a bit of courage on her part as she had recently overcome serious challenges to her health.

Helen thrived in Princeton, making numerous longtime friends via her many memberships and associations with local organizations. She and Martin were members of All Saints' Episcopal Church, The Bedens Brook Club, and the Nassau Club. Helen was a founding member and later president of the Women's Investment Group, a member of the Present Day Club and the local Wellesley College Club, and a McCarter Theater patron. She was also one of the early friends of the Institute for Advanced Study and had a scholarship in her name at Wellesley College.

Helen especially enjoyed working every year at the Bryn Mawr-Wellesley Book Sale and the Wellesley antiques show where she could be counted on to make sure that no one left the premises without making a donation.

An enthusiastic traveler, Helen visited places as far away as Australia and was always ready for an adventure like seeing the Grand Canyon, going white water rafting in Colorado or ballooning in Arizona. She was a voracious reader who could be depended upon to remember a book's title or author that no one else could and loved to play cards especially bridge and solitaire.

Helen will be remembered for her grace, strength, courage, intellect, sharp wit, and generosity. She will be forever in the hearts of her family and many friends.

Helen was preceded in death by her brothers John and Andrew Harpham Newman. She is survived by her husband Martin, daughter Anne Chooljian and longtime companion Raul Najar, daughter Cynthia Jost and son-in-law Dan Jost, son Andrew Martin Chooljian and daughter-in-law Laurel Chooljian, honorary grandchildren Dr. Ingrid Stewart, Tyrone Taylor, Dr. Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Rebecca Taylor and Joshua Taylor, and finally her honorary great granddaughter Stony Taylor. A special thanks to her wonderful aide of sixteen years, Brenda Stewart, for without her Helen's last years would not have been all that they were.

Private cremation was held and a memorial service celebrating her life will be held at The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home 40 Vandeventer Ave. Princeton, New Jersey on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 3pm to be followed by a reception at the Bedens Brook Club at 240 Rolling Hill Road, Skillman, New Jersey.