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Helen Lunsford


01/18/1925 - 11/18/2013 Obituary
Helen Lunsford Obituary
Helen Agnes(Mudryk) Lunsford, 88, born January 18, 1925 in the Bronx New York City to immigrant parents Kuzma Mudryk and Victoria Mudryk, nee Tendelska, and died November 18, 2013 in Renton, Washington.
Mom was delivered at home with the help of a midwife, the ninth of thirteen children. She grew up during the Great Depression, living in tenement apartments called cold water flats. Mom often shared with us that her family was very poor. She didn't feel poor due to her mother's great love for all of her children. Mom often told us kids how much fun she always had with her younger sister, Anna (Aunt Annie), who was closest in age.
Early WWII Mom met a dashing young sailor named George Lunsford and immediately fell in love with him. She and Dad were married Dec. 13, 1942 in New York City. Mom gave birth to us four children, three boys and a girl. She was a Navy wife for eighteen years until Dad retired from the Navy as a Gunner's Mate Chief Petty Officer (GMC) in 1960. In the late 1940's they were transferred to Bakersfield where Dad became a local Navy recruiter. Mom and Dad found that people in Bakersfield were very friendly and the weather warm and dry compared to New York. After intervening tours of duty in Watertown, New York and Honolulu, Hawaii our whole family returned in 1959 to settle in Bakersfield.
Both Mom and Dad had the pleasure of visiting her eldest sister, Jadwiga, in Poland and thoroughly enjoyed her Polish nieces; Maria, Anna, Irena and Wladzia. Mom continued talking of the many good times she and Dad had with her Polish family. Mom never forgot her European vacation in 1988.
After Dad passed away in 1998 Mom remained at their home on Tangerine St. in Bakersfield until 2006 when she decided to move to Renton, Washington. Mom continued enjoying her golden years, making new friends, going on daily walks, and tending her flower garden and Japanese maple tree. She loved family trips to Lopez Island in Puget Sound in Washington where she enjoyed eating fresh crab and watching native deer and birds grazing around the cabin.
Mom enjoyed life and remained very active through her final days. She made friends very easily and enjoyed reminiscing with them about her years spent with Dad camping at Huntington Lake in the Sierra Mountains of California and along California's central coast beaches. They also enjoyed making many trips across country. Mom especially remembers our three years spent in Hawaii while Dad was overseas during the Korean War.
For several years Mom worked as a pastry cook at Longfellow Elementary School in Bakersfield and made lifetime friends there. Her main job, though, was being a homemaker. She was a great person, mother, and homemaker. She not only raised us--no easy task!-- but she and Dad took in many foster children over the years. She loved children!
Mom was predeceased by her parents; her husband, George; brothers, William, Casimir, Willy; sisters, Jadwiga, Antoinette, Jane and Mary; grandson, James; great-grandson, Isaiah; and dearest friends, Bernard and Joan Boutelier.
Mom is survived by her four children: Jim of Renton, Washington; John and wife Diane of Bakersfield, California; Judy Jaeger and husband Harold of Inyokern, California; Jeff and wife Suzy of Lake Sammamish, Washington. Grandchildren: John Lunsford and wife Katja of Bakersfield; Scott Lunsford and wife Jacqui of Lincoln, California; Ginger Pacheco and husband Donald of Valley Springs, California; Christopher Lunsford and wife Stacy of Renton; Matthew Lunsford and wife Laura of Puyallup, Washington; Sarah Higginbotham and husband Ben of Renton; Lisa Lercher and husband Spencer of Renton; Kelli McEntire and husband Sam of Renton; twenty-one great-grandchildren; her brother, John Mudryk and wife Barbara of Bakersfield; her sisters, Stella Mudryk of Greenlawn, New York, Anna Carney of Thomaston, Maine, Francis Boguta of Orlando, Florida, Betty Hommel of Huntington, New York, and sister-in-law Eileen Mudryk of New York.
For years of friendship with Mom special thanks to Monsignor Craig Harrison of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bakersfield; to Helen Cunningham, Roberta and Jerry Jacks, Dorothy Peterson, Warren Kaufman (retired from the Kern County Fair in Bakersfield), to Masae Yoshimura, and Bill and Marylou Johnson of Renton.
Private burial and family celebration of Mom's life will take place Easter 2014 on Lopez Island.
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Dec. 29, 2013
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