Helene Lavelle of San Jose passed away on March 21, 2017 after a short but intense battle with leukemia. Beloved wife of Tim Lavelle. Devoted mother of Brian (Becky), Ceci Conley (John), and Brendan (Cat). Loving Omi of Caitlin, Evan, Mairéad, Ronan, Nicholas and Evelyn. Dear sister of Dennis, and cherished friend of so many.
Daughter of the late Ken and Cecilia Deehan, Helene was a native San Franciscan. She graduated from St. Brendan’s School and St. Rose Academy in The City, and from Cal Berkeley in 1970. She then went on to earn her Teaching Credential at UC’s School of Education.
She married her high school sweetheart Tim after his graduation from West Point and the couple lived in Germany from 1971-75, where Tim was stationed with the U.S. Army, where Helene taught in the local American school, and where their eldest son Brian was born.
The young family then lived in Scotland, where Helene taught in a U.S. Navy dependent school, then on to Phoenix before settling in San Jose in 1978.
Helene’s 30-year sales career in the printed circuit board industry began shortly after her third child was born. In those early years, she was one of only a few women in this male-dominated business. She and some of her other female industry pioneers adopted the nickname “circuit broads.” She had an uncanny knack of establishing a comfortable rapport with her customers and quickly converting them into friends.
In addition to managing the upbringing of her family and her successful profession, Helene made time to serve on the Boards of the San Jose Cleveland Ballet and Presentation High School. She also served on the Historic Landmarks Commission of San Jose.
Helene was a woman of deep faith who was proud of her Irish Catholic heritage. She was a fun-loving and adventurous woman with boundless energy and an infectious smile who made everyone she met feel good about themselves. She leaves behind countless loyal friends.
Visitation Friday March 31st after 5pm (Rosary at 6pm) at the Leontyne Chapel, Bellarmine College Prep, 960 West Hedding Street, San Jose. Funeral Mass will be Saturday April 1st at 11am at St. Martin of Tours Church, 200 O'Connor Drive, San Jose. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Helene’s honor to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team In Training, Red Cloud Indian School, the Sisters of the Holy Names, Presentation High School, Jenny’s Light, or the charity of your choice.