Helen Yunker: Legacy Giving Profile
IN MEMORY OF HELEN YUNKER (1921 - 2018)
Helen Mathilda Yunker arrived in 1948 in California, from Chicago, where she was born in 1921. After 10-years in direct sales, Helen fulfilled her dream of living at the seashore when she moved to Ventura’s Pierpont Bay area in 1958. As a retired realtor in 1971, she founded Helen Yunker Realty.
Her 60 years in Ventura were of ongoing community engagement. She has been recognized over the years for her many contributions, by numerous service organizations in the areas of education, medical, civic, youth, theater, and arts. Helen’s recognition and contributions over the years are too many to list.
Helen joined the Ventura College Foundation Board of Directors in 2000. Last May, the Foundation Board of Directors honored her service and leadership by naming her as a Board Emeritus Member. Helen awarded multiple scholarships over the years and created one endowed scholarship, the Helen Yunker Music Scholarship that will continue to impact Ventura College students in perpetuity.
Over almost three decades, Helen donated more than $945,000, to the Ventura College Foundation. Upon her passing, the Foundation received a $2 million donation from the Helen Yunker estate. Honoring Helen’s request, the donation will establish endowments for the Ventura College Music Department and the Opera and Musical Theatre program. The gift will be split evenly between the two.
Helen took a special interest in the Ventura College Opera Workshop for many years and was known to do a little singing and dancing of her own. The Ventura County Ballet, accompanied by the Ventura College Symphony Orchestra, paid tribute to Helen at The Nutcracker performances held in December at Ventura College in the Helen Yunker Auditorium. For eight years and well into her 90s, Yunker had a cameo role as the maid at the beginning of the yearly production.
Helen’s generosity will enable students who share her passion for music and theatre to express themselves and thrive in a creative setting. Helen’s legacy will live on in our art, heritage, and culture at Ventura College and in the community.