Helga Lieber, 85, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, passed from this life on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, after a four-month-long valiant struggle with illness. Her courage, strength, perseverance and determination along with her loving, considerate and appreciative disposition were apparent to the end. Born in Germany, Helga learned the harsh realities of life at an early age. To escape the Nazi onslaught, she was forced to leave behind the home where she had been born and where her family had lived for generations, her favorite nearby mountain that she loved to run up and down, as well as many family members who remained in Germany and later perished. In early 1935, she and her parents sailed to America to set up a new life in Anadarko, thanks to two sponsoring uncles, who had participated in an Oklahoma land run. Although Helga did not speak a word of English when she arrived in America, she was a quick study and excelled in school, graduating as the valedictorian of her grade school class one year later. An honor student in high school, Helga also graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. She attended Oklahoma College for Women and Columbia University, earning a bachelor's degree in Spanish. She used her knowledge of languages working for the U.S. War Department during World War II, translating books and writing German/English and Spanish/English dictionaries. After the war, while working in the New York City Public Library, Helga met the love of her life, Ronald Lieber, who was researching colleges to attend under the GI Bill. They later married in Oklahoma in 1947. Helga continued her education and earned her master's degree in library science at the University of Oklahoma in 1948. Helga's love of education and service to others were lifelong passions. While raising four active children in Ponca City, Helga was extremely involved in numerous organizations, including the AAUW (American Association of University Women) and the Parent/Teachers Association for various schools. She was instrumental in establishing Jewish religious services and studies in Ponca City, where the Jewish community ultimately built Temple Emanuel to serve the 25 Jewish families then living in the area. Helga served as the president and treasurer of both Temple Emanuel and its sisterhood. She worked at the Ponca City Public Library and later earned a teaching certificate in order to become a librarian at the Ponca City High School library in the late 1960's. Helga continued her community service while living in New Orleans and Houston. She volunteered at the Jewish homes for the aged in each city and was extremely active in Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training), NCJW (National Council of Jewish Women), Hadassah, B'nai B'rith and her temple sisterhoods, serving on numerous boards and in a variety of offices, including president of ORT. She truly believed in raising a cohesive, loving family and in doing mitzvahs within the community. She was totally giving of herself and never had a negative word to say about anyone. Helga was preceded in death by her parents; her oldest son, Raymond; her great-nephew. Alex; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. She leaves behind her devoted husband of 62 years, Ronald, along with her daughter, Loretta; son, Richard and wife, Roxanne; son, Terry; daughter-in-law and Raymond's widow, Gail; six grandchildren, including Aaron, Sarah, Michael, Benjamin, Daniel and Nathan; two nephews, Bill and Jim; and their respective wives and children; along with numerous cousins. Each person who knew and loved Helga feels deeply privileged to have been a part of her life. We each will carry Helga with us in our hearts all the remaining days of our lives. Although she lived 85 good, quality years, we still feel she was taken from us too soon, and we genuinely will miss the physical experience of her beauty and sweet, loving nature. She was laid to her final resting place, surrounded by family and friends, on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at the Congregation Beth Israel Memorial Gardens in Houston, with Rabbi David Lyon and Cantor Robert Gerber officiating. Donations may be made in Helga's memory by giving to the charity of your choice or by donating blood.