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41590 Fenwick Street
P.O. Box 270
Leonardtown, MD 20650
Phone: (301) 475-8500
Fax: (301) 475-8909
Helene Hautzenroder
In Memory of
Helene Lou "Sis"
1931 - 2023
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A. and Crematory
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
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Obituary for Helene Lou "Sis" Hautzenroder

Helene Lou "Sis"  Hautzenroder
Helene Lou Hautzenroder, “Sis”, 91, of Lexington Park, MD, passed away on February 26, 2023 at Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., surrounded by her loving family. Born on September 11, 1931 in Keene, NH, she was the daughter of the late Jake Woods and Marie Woods. Helene is survived by her children, Joseph Hautzenroder (Sue) of NY, Michael Hautzenroder (Jah) of MD, Linda Hautzenroder of MD, and Debra Hautzenroder of VA, four grandchildren, Kielen Hautzenroder (Beth), Autumn Steier (Andrew), Audrey Young, and Skyler Young, three great grandchildren, Junie Hautzenroder, and Nora and Malachi Steier, her NH relatives, nephew Peter Wright (Regina), Niece Heidi Wells (Keith) and daughter Devon, great niece, Katie Parrelli (John), great nephew, Adam Wright (Nicole), and great nephew Michael Wright (Deb, fiance). She is also survived by her close friend and partner, DeForest Rathbone of MD. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph F. Hautzenroder, and her sister, Ann Wells.

Helene grew up in Keene, NH and graduated from Keene High School. Soon after graduation, she moved to Boston where she obtained a Licensed Practical Nursing Degree. She was then employed by Massachusetts General Hospital. During that employment, she also provided private care to individuals at home who required additional medical assistance. While in Boston, she also met the love of her life, Joseph F. Hautzenroder, who was in the military. Helene and Joseph were married in Keene, NH in 1951.

Helene and family were stationed at numerous duty stations throughout her husband’s military career. The final duty Station was in Patuxent River, MD in 1961. Helene resumed employment several years after arriving in MD. She worked at St. Mary’s Nursing Home and SMILE Adult Day Care. Later she became the driving force behind the establishment of St. Mary’s County Developmental Center (later renamed The Center for Life Enrichment). She spent many years as the Director there. Her last job was at Cedar Lane Apartments, where she was employed as a Service Coordinator. She retired there at the age of 80. Helene made a significant impact at Cedar Lane. At the time of her retirement ceremony, she was presented with a wing of a building named after her; Helene Hautzenroder Wellness Center. Even in retirement, Helene continued to keep abreast of the needs of folks in St. Mary’s County. She continued to provide visitation and assistance to those in need in any way she could.

Helene was a kind and gentle person who was full of love and positivity. She had grace and wit all rolled up in one. Her selfless attitude and dedication to serving others leaves behind a beautiful legacy that will continue to inspire others. She derived pleasure in any family or friend event. She celebrated to the fullest; planning for holidays, special events, and made-up events. She enjoyed travel, eating out, pets, water color painting, reading, dining out, attending church, and shopping “with the girls”. She was up for any adventure, and was at ease in any environment. Her children will always be grateful for the magical, happy, stable, calm, and loving support that she provided as a Mom throughout her life.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM in Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Lexington Park, MD, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:30 AM with Father Marco Schad officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, it would be greatly appreciated if donations were made to The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 22375 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park, Maryland 20653, where Helene was a member for many years.


On Sunday February 26, 2023, my beloved companion Helene passed peacefully at Georgetown Hospital with her loving family at her side. It occurred just days after she suffered a sudden damaging fall in her home. Prior to that unexpected tragic event, she had been in excellent physical and mental health having enjoyed the fellowship of fellow Christians at a recent church-sponsored Valentine dinner/dance. After which, in the blessing of God’s timing, she had basked in the presence of her whole family home with her for birthday celebrations and home cooked meals.

Helene was a committed lifetime Catholic whose Christian faith life began as a small child who walked to her local church in her idyllic hometown of Keene, New Hampshire. After she completed her nursing education and became a Navy Wife, she raised her four children near several naval stations throughout the nation until finally settling in Southern Maryland where she and husband Joe sacrificed to send them to Catholic schools.

I first met Helene through my wife Katherine who had worked for Helene at Cedar Lane and became one of her best friends. The three of us had frequently enjoyed eating out and attending local entertainment, etc. After her husband passed, and my wife passed shortly afterward, we gradually began a friendly relationship that evolved into a very deep emotional commitment that grew and prevailed with our exchanging commitment rings signifying our deep love for each other. I was blessed as her children accepted me into her family.

Helene was a frequent contributor to numerous charities from her retirement savings that she so generously shared with those in need. She was a strong contributor to her church and church-related activities. She enjoyed giving presents to her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, relatives, and friends. She was a frequent trusted counsellor to friends who needed moral support. She never held a grudge and always was willing to forgive and forget any real or imagined slights. She demonstrated Christ’s forgiveness and love in all her relationships.

Ours was a perfect match as we both are people of strong faith fully committed to living our commitment to our Lord by regular weekly attendance at church worship, and regular financial contributions and service in church activities. Our love for each other reflected the Christian love of our church friends and family for us, which continues today in the comforting “Peace That Passeth Understanding” which lights up our lives—and our own passing on to Heaven.

She was not preachy, but hers was an excellent example for us to follow to help bring true happiness into our own life. The source of that happiness is memorialized in one of her favorite slogans, “BELIEVE!” Helene’s perpetually happy face reflected her awareness of Christ’s promise to herself and others who BELIEVE and obey His commands: “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

Thus, this is the beautiful legacy of Helene, one of the sweetest loving persons we could ever know. We all can thank God for allowing her to have been such an important part of our lives. Amen.

DeForest “Dee” Rathbone
Beloved companion of Helene Hautzenroder
March 8, 2023

Arrangements provided by the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home and Cremation Services, P.A., Leonardtown, MD.

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