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Helen Butler

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Helen Butler Obituary
Helen Butler

BENNINGTON, VT Helen Fitzgerald Torrisi Butler, 97, died peacefully at her home on the Battenkill in Arlington, VT, on February 23. She was born in Scarsdale, NY, the daughter of John and Jenny Fitzgerald and little sister to brothers Billie and Jackie.Helen went to the College of New Rochelle where she received degrees in English and Journalism. When World War II broke out, she enlisted in the Women's Army Corps where she served in Personnel and recruiting and wrote a WAC newspaper column and feature articles. She married Fred Torrisi at the war's end and on his return from Japan where he had been a prisoner of war since the fall of Corregidor in May of 1942. Helen and Fred had five children before moving to the west end of Bennington in 1955 when they established and ran Tansitor Electronics (now Vishay). After a year of living upstairs and working downstairs as "Girl Friday" in the fledgling company, Helen turned her efforts to establishing a family home and to many volunteer community and church endeavors. As Tansitor expanded, Helen and Fred created recreational facilities for community use such as a swimming and ice skating pond (complete with lifeguard and bus service), and sponsored bowling and Little League. In 1966 Tansitor, by then an International company, was sold and the family moved to West Arlington where Helen continued to be an active volunteer and extraordinary personality. Fred Torrisi passed away in 1974; in later years, Helen married Leo Butler of Bennington who died in 2001. Helen was a life Member of the Disabled American Veterans. She served many years as an RSVP volunteer at the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington and was a member of the Arlington Nurses Association. She was a member of St. Margaret Mary's Parish in Arlington and a member of the Sodality at the church. Helen is survived by five children and two stepchildren; Kathy Idleman of Cambridge, NY, Fred Torrisi (Linda) of Anchorage, AK, Susan Chipman (Ed) of Edwards, CO, Rita Rozier (Jim) of Livingston, MT, Jim Torrisi (Daria) of Derby Line, VT, and Joanne Butler of Florida and Tim Butler of Texas. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. Her parents, spouses, brothers, one granddaughter and two sons-in-law preceded her death. FUNERAL NOTICE: Father James Holden will celebrate the funeral Mass which will be held at Four Chaplains All Faiths Chapel at the Vermont Veteran's Home on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 11:00 am. At Mrs. Butler's request there will be no calling hours. Burial will take place in the family lot at St. Columban's Cemetery in Arlington. Arrangements are with E.P. Mahar and Son Funeral Home of Bennington. The funeral home will accept donations on behalf of the Arlington Food Shelf or the donor's local Habitat for Humanity. Guestbook condolences may be made at: www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net
Published in Bennington Banner on Feb. 26, 2016
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