Cover photo for Helen H. Lancaster's Obituary
Helen H. Lancaster Profile Photo
1923 Helen 2021

Helen H. Lancaster

March 31, 1923 — November 5, 2021

Helen H. (Danaher)(Hayes) Lancaster, 98, of Peabody, MA, formerly of Gardner, MA, died peacefully Friday, November 5, 2021, in the Jeffrey and Susan Brudnick Center for Living, in Peabody, MA.

Born in Camden, NJ, on March 31, 1923, she was the daughter of the late John J. and Helen Mary (Beard) Danaher.

Growing up in Camden, NJ, she enjoyed academics and extracurriculars, as well. Helen was a terrific dancer. During the 1940s, she especially enjoyed attending concerts in Atlantic City by the greats of the ‘Big Band Era’ – Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and the like. In fact, she could shed as much as five pounds in one evening’s workout at the Atlantic City Pier!

Following high school graduation, Helen pursued her college education at Miami University of Oxford Ohio, in addition to earning her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1946, Helen was most proud of her life-long membership in the Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority.

In 1948, Helen married the love of her life, John “Jack” Hayes, who passed away in 1978; they were the parents of a daughter, Patrice, and son, Peter. Most of their family life was spent in the Haddonfield, New Jersey area. Helen later married Vernon Lancaster, with whom she shared 32 years prior to his passing in 2015. They enjoyed dividing their time between their homes in New Jersey and Mattapoisett Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Vernon had built a home. During their later years, the Lancasters moved to Massachusetts—specifically Petersham and Gardner, to be near to their families.

Though predeceased by her spouses, her brother, Robert Danaher, and a son, Peter; Helen leaves many family and friends who will miss her cheerful ways. They include her daughter, Patrice Hayes- Sullivan (Jody Sullivan), and grandsons, Ian and Sean Hayes of Audubon, NJ. In addition, she leaves her late son Peter’s family, daughter-in-law, Bonnie Hayes, grandchildren, Jennifer Brennan Hall (Brian Hall) and Eric Brennan, along with ‘Great Nan’s’ favorites, Alex and Ava Brennan, all of New Jersey. Lastly, Helen leaves her nephews, Perry Smith of NH, and Travis Smith (Susan Smith) of Peabody, MA, along with their daughter, Erin Foote (Casey Foote), by whom she will be greatly missed.

Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from the Boucher Funeral Home, Inc., 110 Nichols Street, Gardner, MA 01440, with a Mass at 10:00 a.m. in Annunciation Parish at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, 135 Nichols Street, Gardner, MA. Burial will be held Thursday, November 11, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Mary’s Cemetery, West Browning Road, Bellmawr, NJ.

A Calling Hour will be held Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the funeral home.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Gardner Community Action Committee, 294 Pleasant Street, Gardner, MA 01440, or to the Annunciation Parish Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 135 Nichols Street, Gardner, MA 01440. Please reference in memory of Helen H. Lancaster.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen H. Lancaster, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

8:30 - 9:30 am (Eastern time)

Boucher Funeral Home, Inc.

110 Nichols St, Gardner, MA 01440

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Annunciation Parish at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church

135 Nichols St, Gardner, MA 01440

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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