Ms. Helen Agnes Malewski, 92, died Wednesday, February 16, 2022, in the Vitas Inpatient Hospice Unit of Citrus County in Lecanto, Florida.
On Monday, February 28th. from 9:45-10:00AM, family and friends are asked to gather directly in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey. The prayers of committal will be offered at 10:00AM at the gravesite by the clergy of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church of Clark prior to Helen’s burial, alongside her mother and father in the family plot. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to the Vitas Inpatient Hospice Unit of Citrus County, 3350 W. Audubon Park Path, Lecanto, FL, 33461.
Helen Agnes Malewski was born in the city of Elizabeth, in Union County, New Jersey, on July 1, 1929, the fourth child of the late Stanley Malewski, Sr. and the late Alexandria Wyrzkowski (Wiscowski, in English). Helen’s parents were Polish immigrants who were sent as eight- and ten-year-old children by boat to Ellis Island in New York, to flee the intense fighting between the Russian and German forces on the eastern front during the early days of World War I.
When she was three, Helen's father died at the age of 29 from pneumonia during the darkest days of the Great Depression in 1933. Her mother, known as "Alice," had to give up the family general store to raise Helen and her three siblings alone, scraping together a life as a cleaning woman in office buildings and later, after achieving her U.S. citizenship in 1936, she worked at a Singer sewing factory on Elizabeth's outskirts. Helen studied at a private, Polish-language, Roman Catholic grade school in Jersey City, New Jersey, where she became fluent in Polish, before graduating from Ferris High School, where she was a cheerleader. Helen moved with her family to Irvington, New Jersey and then in 1968, she settled with her mother and brother in a house they built in Chatham, New Jersey.
A big believer in family first, Helen cared for her mother until her passing in 1997, while her brother, Stanley Jr., spent months at a time away from home making a living as a captain on trade ships. Helen demonstrated the same devotion in her professional life as the head secretary for a Morris County-based elevator company. Characteristic of a generation of Depression-Era Americans, Helen was a sparky, frugal, no-nonsense woman who didn't believe in quitting or shying away from personal responsibility. She designed and sewed her own clothes; she decorated the walls of her home with her own oil paintings; she adored musicals on Broadway and on the big screen; she traveled throughout Western Europe during the height of the Cold War, and she never lived without a pet dog. When asked, at age 92, her secret for longevity, she replied: "A glass of red wine, once a day" -- and with a wry smile -- "for medicinal purposes."
Shortly after retiring, Helen moved with her brother to Citrus County, Florida, in January of 1998. They built a house in Citrus Hills and to this day Helen has lived in the same neighborhood as her beloved sister, Anne, and her nephew, Theodore.
Helen is survived by her two nephews: Theodore J. Lewan, Jr. and Darren Daniel Lewan; her two nieces Bettina Lewan and Andria Plamondon and numerous neighbors and friends.
Helen was a dynamic woman to the very end. She will be deeply missed but most importantly, Helen will never be forgotten.
To send flowers to Helen's family, please visit our floral store.