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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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Helen Gilroy Pierce, 88, Of Closter

CLOSTER, N.J. -- Helen Gilroy Pierce, 88, of Closter and formerly of Jersey City, died May 7, 2016, at the Emerson Health and Rehab Center.

She was born Nov. 20, 1927, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

During World War II, she met the love of her life John Pierce (an American GI) in Scotland at a local dance hall. They fell in love and were engaged. In May 1945, John was transferred back to the United States, however before leaving; he left her the plane fare. What a scary situation for a young woman to be in, leaving the only member of her family, her mother, and going to a strange land knowing no one else but this GI, John. On Dec 30, 1946, Helen and other GI brides boarded one of two propeller planes bound for the United States. Helen was on the second plane. Unfortunately the first plane crashed over Shannon Ireland. On Jan. 1, 1947 she arrived in Grand Central Station by train. She was met by John and her future mother-in-law. They were married Jan. 22, 1947 in West New York.

In 1948, they bought a house in Jersey City and started a family. In June 1958, they moved to Closter to raise their six children.

Pierce was predeceased by her loving husband of 55 years, John Pierce.

She will be sadly missed by her children, Alice Falcone, David and Gloria Pierce, Allan Pierce, Janet and John Hofmann, Stephen and Suellen Pierce and Scott Pierce. The world’s best “Nana” is also survived by her 11 grandchildren, Danny, Brenda, Stephanie, Jeff, Heather, Sheila, Ashley, Jessica, Carolyn, Jason, Jullianna; and one great-grandson, Oliver.

Pirce was an animal lover and had three loyal friends, her cats Abbey and Ethel and her dog Toby.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Clifton Animal Shelter, PO Box 4923, Clifton NJ 07015 ( would be greatly appreciated.

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