Helen Yanowitz


On Feb. 24, Helen Yanowitz, née Helen John Nanchu, died at her home in Florida after a brief illness. Born in Dudley, Mass., on May 8, 1927, Helen, a registered nurse, worked at Worcester Memorial Hospital and later attended Boston University School of Nursing. She moved to the Washington, D.C., area following her marriage to Dr. Bernard Yanowitz and became active in residential real estate for more than 30 years.

A long-time resident of the Town of Somerset in Chevy Chase, she did extensive volunteer work, including Tri-County Animal Rescue, United Givers Fund, Florence Crittenton Home and Planned Parenthood; serving on the board of directors. She was a past president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Maimonides Dental Society. As captain of an integrated tennis team, she appeared on the front page of the New York Times in 1968, championing the rights of players. She was a gold medalist in the Senior Olympics, a USTA team member representing the Middle Atlantic area, and in 2004 she had a USTA National ranking of 23 for Women’s Singles 75 and over. After becoming a resident of Deerfield Beach, Fla, she continued to spend her summers in Bethesda and Bethany Beach.

Her beloved husband of more than 70 years, Dr. Bernard Yanowitz, died May 17, 2022. She is survived by their five children, Melissa Yanowitz (John Robey), John Yanowitz (Suanne), Julie Alter (Leo), Beth Devlin (Joe) and Mark Yanowitz (Amy Belscher); and a sister, Dorothy Nanchu. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, Allison Alter Martin (Keith), Bryan Alter, Conor Devlin (Melissa), Becca Devlin Spresser (Michael), Kayla Devlin, Sam Yanowitz, Alva Yanowitz and Jack Yanowitz; and six great-grandchildren, Lilian, Grace, Miriam, Brooks, Ruby and Charlie, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends. Preceded in death by her parents, John Michael Nanchu and Vasiliki Beltson Nanchu, brother James J. Nanchu and sister Athina Kotseas.

Contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org), The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington (shalomdc.org) or Washington Hebrew Congregation (whctemple.org/give/). ■

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