Helen M. Stein, 87, a publicist and community activist formerly of Elkins Park, died of cancer Saturday at Martins Run, a retirement community in Media.

Mrs. Stein was director of community relations for the Cheltenham School District from 1960 to 1978. She created a career program for Cheltenham High School and in 1970 organized a conference that led to changes in the district's curriculum.

From 1978 until 1982, she was director of public relations at the Cheltenham Art Center.

In the 1980s, she profiled residents in a weekly column for the Jenkintown Times Chronicle. She also taught a course on public relations for nonprofit organizations at Cheltenham Township Adult School, and in 1992 created a course in financial planning for women.

Mrs. Stein was later volunteer outreach coordinator for new members at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was a volunteer publicist for Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park. In 2001, a 9/11 memorial service that she organized at the synagogue drew more than 2,000 people, her family said.

A native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Mrs. Stein earned a bachelor's degree from Adelphi College on Long Island.

In 1946, she married Jon E. Stein. The couple raised four children in Elkins Park. Her husband died in 2001.

In 2003, Mrs. Stein moved to Martins Run and became a volunteer publicist there, and was founding editor of the monthly newsletter, Happenings.

She is survived by a son, Robert; daughters Judy Johnson, Sally Richman and Nancy Swift; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. today at Martins Run, 11 Martins Run, Media.