Helen Allen Anstett died Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, at the age of 74. She suffered a heart attack and was admitted Friday to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where she remained surrounded by family.
She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Robert Anstett; children, Robert Allen Anstett, wife, Lea; and Erica Anstett Bozentka, husband, Mark; and grandchildren, Robert Jr., Joshua and Matthew Anstett and Natalia Bozentka. She is also survived by two sisters, Phyllis Flynn, husband, John; and Judy Lavenburg, husband, Frank. In addition, she is survived by her beloved niece, Lynn Frumkin; nephews, Douglas Lavenburg and family, John and Matthew Flynn and families; and cousin, Gregory Allen.
Helen will be remembered foremost for her ability to love and give comfort to everyone who met her. Whether a lifelong friend or brand new acquaintance, all were welcome into her home and into her heart.
Her ability to chat with anyone started in her work as a Bell Telephone operator in 1957 and then was furthered when she opened her own beauty shop in 1962.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, her entire existence was devoted to the raising of her two most treasured accomplishments, her children. And while she had two children of her own, the friends of her children and the neighborhood kids all turned to her at one time or another for motherly affection, from a bruised knee to a bruised heart.
While she did pursue other jobs at Allen Subs and later Wilkes University, her active life was cut short by a stroke when she was only 50 years old. Always a fighter who would not give up on her family, she fought back and was walking, talking and back to offering others comfort a few years later. She suffered a heart attack six years later but bounced back from that too, although her prognosis gave her only a few more years to live. This meant very little to her fighting spirit and she would live on 18 more years, in which she watched both her children get married and enjoyed four grandchildren who were the light of her life.
Many people can say that their lives were touched by Helen, but even more memorable will be her unique ability to never let the limits of her body affect the generosity of her spirit.
The funeral will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Mamary-Durkin Funeral Service, 59 Parrish St., Wilkes-Barre, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 a.m. in St. Nicholas Church.
Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hanover Township. Friends may call from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph's Center, 2010 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.
Mamary-Durkin Funeral Service, Inc - Wilkes Barre
59 Parrish St. Wilkes Barre, PA 18702
Published in Citizens' Voice on Aug. 28, 2014