HELEN McHUGH was a well-known and much respected community leader and political figure from North Camden. Born Helen Hartmann in Texas in 1925, she came to Camden with her family in the late 1920s. She married Peter McHugh in 1947. 

The McHughs lived in North Camden and were active members of Holy Name Roman Catholic Church. Helen McHugh became active in local politics as a ward leader. She worked in Camden's Department of Public Works and later in the Mayor's Office, and in 1975 was elected to City Council, where she served until 1987. In 1985 she ran for Mayor, but failed in her attempt to buck the Democrat party machine led by Melvin "Randy" Primas and Theodore "Teddy" Hinson. 

Helen McHugh was known in and out of Camden as a tireless defender of North Camden and an advocate for the people who lived there. Although she was unsuccessful in her attempt to unseat Primas as Mayor, her husband Peter, was successful in exposing the corruption of Teddy Hinson at Camden's Parking Authority and effecting a regime change there, which sadly, changed little to arrest the moral, ethical, and practical devolution of Camden's city 

government and Democrat party organization. Helen McHugh may well be considered as the last person to serve on Camden's City Council in the 20th Century to take seriously the words "public service" and for that she is to be forever remembered.

Camden Courier-Post * September 23, 1979


Albert Handy
Bailey Street
Benjamin Shablack
John Barrett
The Tavern
North 6th Street
Eifonio Lopez
Samuel Benson
Harold Melleby
Helen McHugh

Camden Courier-Post * May 17, 2017


Age 92 • Williamstown 

HELEN McHUGH (nee Hartmann) On May 15, 2017 of Williamstown, NJ. Age 92 years. Beloved wife for 70 years of Peter McHugh. Loving daughter of the late William and Pauline Hartmann and loving sister to the late Louis, Harold, Bill and Edgar Hartmann, Frances Horn and Ruth Danser. Preceded in death by her daughter Colleen (Bill) and son Sean (Pam). Loving Mother of Peter (Linda), Kevin (Barbara), Sheila (John), Michele (Edward) and Daniel (Norma). Helen was the cherished grandmother of 21 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. Born in Fredericksburg, Texas, she moved to Camden, NJ with her family at the age of three. Helen met her husband Pete at Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia and married in 1947. Helen was active with Holy Name Church in Camden where her seven children attended school and became involved in Camden politics in the early 1960’s. First serving as a ward leader she later worked for the Department of Public Works and the Mayor’s Office. She was elected to City Council in 1975 and served for 12 years until 1987. She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1985. A prominent public figure in Camden, Helen was well known for her work in the community and her compassion for those less fortunate. She dedicated much of her life to helping others and her home on State Street in Camden operated like a satellite city hall---always open to those in need. She was recognized by the City in 1996 when they re-named State Street in her honor. Helen was a great cook and enjoyed preparing many wonderful meals for her family, friends and neighbors over the years. She passed her love of nature, plants and animals on to her children and grandchildren. Funeral Services are private and at the convenience of the family. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the BRADLEY & STOW FUNERAL HOME of Medford, NJ. (www.BradleyStow.com).

City of Camden * May 18, 2017


CAMDEN, NJ – “On behalf of the City of Camden, our employees and all of our residents we are deeply saddened by the loss of a lifelong public servant and dedicated community advocate, former City Councilwoman Helen McHugh,” said Mayor Dana L. Redd.

Helen McHugh was born in Texas and moved to Camden, New Jersey with her family at an early age. Helen was active with Holy Name Church in Camden where her seven children attended school. In the 1960’s she became involved in politics and began serving as a local ward leader in Camden.

Helen began her professional career with the City of Camden in 1965 where she worked for the Department of Public Works. She also worked in the Mayor’s Office and diligently served in various positions with the City until her retirement in 1987.

Helen was well known and respected in Camden. She was elected to Camden City Council in 1975 and served for 12 years until 1987. She also ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1985. As a prominent public figure, Helen was celebrated for her work throughout the Camden community. She was a compassionate person who dedicated much of her life to helping others.

Although Helen would eventually move out of Camden she never forgot her roots and remained dedicated to the city and particularly her beloved North Camden neighborhood. Many individuals can still recall fond memories of spending time at her home on State Street in Camden. Her home was always open to visitors as she made herself available to help those in need.

In recognition of Councilwoman McHugh’s passing, Mayor Redd announced the City of Camden will fly flags at half-staff at municipal buildings until the day of her service. Mayor Redd passes along her appreciation for Helen’s unwavering dedication to the City of Camden in addition to sending deepest condolences to her family and friends.