A Tribute to Our Friend and Colleague
For nearly two decades, Helen Wardner was the welcoming voice and at the front lines of customer service for Third Sector Company as Senior Strategist for Client & Affiliate Relations. It is with deep sadness that we report our dear friend and treasured colleague passed away peacefully at her home in Irvine, CA on February 22 at the age of 83 with her husband Art and their children Michael and Tanya present.
The former Miss North Dakota in the Miss America pageant of 1958 and long-time senior development officer at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Helen was admired for her warm and caring personality and deep commitment to organizations and people helping others. As a fundraising professional, she raised millions of dollars for many organizations in staff and volunteer positions and was a sought-after expert on forming and supporting auxiliaries. Helen was always drawn to fashion and beauty, taught modeling in her early years and was the powerhouse behind the annual Children’s Hospital Fashion Show. Helen was especially drawn to music and toured with the Pacific Chorale for many years around the world.
“The passing of Helen Wardner will be felt by hundreds of people at Third Sector Company and throughout Southern California,” said Third Sector Company president, Jeffrey Wilcox. “We will never be able to find adequate words to show our love and appreciation for Helen Wardner. There is no question that our ability to survive the early years and to eventually soar would not have been possible without Helen’s belief in me, our people, and our work. She is going to be deeply missed.”
Helen died of complications resulting from a massive stroke. A memorial service has been planned for Saturday, March 18 at Fairhaven Memorial Park’s Legacy Chapel in Santa Ana, CA beginning at 2:30 PM.