The Passing of Helen C. Aitken

To the Williams community:

I was saddened yesterday to learn that another Dining Services retiree haspassed away. Helen (Cohen) Aitken of Boca Raton, Florida, formerly of Williamstown, Massachusetts, passed away March 28.

In 1983, Helen came to Williams from Mill on the Floss, a local restaurant where she was the dining room manager. She first worked as manager of the Faculty House, where her appreciation for fine food and commitment to excellent customer service transformed it into a sought-after location for countless weddings and other social occasions.

With her trademark creative flair and boundless energy, Helen developed catering as a part of Dining Services. She set the standard for quality and presentation and was known for the beautiful events she would orchestrate for Williams, such as turning Chandler Gymnasium into a lovely formal dining room for 400.

She retired in 2002 as associate director of Dining Services and pursued her dream, opening Helen’s Place on Spring Street, where she continued to cater events and serve great food to her loyal customers until her second retirement in 2010.

I am told that Helen loved a good glass of red wine, going to the movies, and reading, and that she was a “foodie” before it was trendy. And she absolutely adored her grandchildren.

She is survived by her four children: James Aitken, Rebecca Lough, Stephen Aitken, and Sarah Aitken; three grandchildren: Trevor Lough, Grant Aitken, and Quinn Aitken; and two brothers: Donald Cohen and Jason Cohen.

A private burial will take place in Congregation Beth Israel Cemetery in Clarksburg, MA. There are no calling hours. A celebration of her life will be held later this spring. The Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals of North Adams is in charge of arrangements.

Our thoughts are with Helen’s family and many friends.


Adam Falk