Helen Rindlbacher Ward, 79, called ‘Helen of the Henrietta’ for helping bring the boat to Wilmington

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Helen Rindlbacher Ward.
Helen Rindlbacher Ward.

Helen Rindlbacher Ward, 79, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice after a yearlong struggle with brain cancer.

She was born Nov. 18, 1936 in Shanghai, China, where she lived with her German parents until she was 19.  She was the widow of James Edward “Jimmy” Ward of Rose Hill.  She is survived by her partner in life and business, Carl B. Marshburn III of Wilmington; daughter Annette Ward Whited (husband Scott); son James Lee “Jim” Ward (wife Cindy); and three grandchildren, Jane, Jimmy and Lauren, all of Raleigh.

She was known in the tourism and business community as “Helen of the Henrietta.”  She was instrumental in bringing the Henrietta riverboat to Wilmington and served as vice president of the business until her death.  She worked at Davis Nursing Home as a registered nurse before that, after earning her associate degree in nursing from UNC-Wilmington in 1980.

She had been active at various times with local scuba diving, the Wilmington German Club and Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington.  Helen relished all her journeys in life and always minded her manners.  She was dearly loved by her extended Ward family and friends, here and in Germany, and was attended by family to the end.

A remembrance reception will be held Saturday, Jan. 23 at her home. Visitors are welcome any time between 2 and 5 p.m.

Please direct memorial gifts to Coastal Therapeutic Riding Program, 8120 Sidbury Road, Wilmington, NC 28411 or Musella Foundation for Brain Tumor Research, 1100 Peninsula Blvd., Hewlett, NY 11557.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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