Helen Margaret (Marchut) Collins, 91, of Old Lyme and Barefoot Bay, Florida, beloved wife of the late Clement C. Collins, died Tuesday, (November 8, 2011). Born in Hartford on December 10, 1919, the daughter of the late Frank and Aniela (Maziarz) Marchut, she attended Hartford High School but as the oldest of seven children in hard economic times, she left school to help support her family and began working at Royal Typewriter where she met and married Clem. They moved to West Hartford where they raised three children and were members of St. Mark's Church. Never satisfied with her lack of formal schooling, Helen attended night school to further her education and began a new career as a bookkeeper working for Food Craft, H.B. Davis and Acme Auto until her retirement. Helen loved her summers at Point O'Woods Beach in Old Lyme where she had been a summer resident since 1947 and was a member of Christ the King Church: After retiring she also enjoyed spending her winters in Barefoot Bay, Florida. Although she didn't drive, she was an independent person and found ways to volunteer at the Esturary Senior Center in Old Saybrook in the summer and at the St. Andrews' Church thrift store in Sebastian, Florida in the winter. Helen did not believe in being idle. She was always up for a challenge and believed in doing things for herself whether it was painting, wallpapering, upholstering furniture or laying tiles. She was an expert seamstress and enjoyed knitting and crocheting. Many people are fortunate to have samples of her handiwork including beautiful crocheted tablecloths and knitted afghans. Her family always came first. She leaves three children, Gary Collins and his wife, Sylvia, of Barefoot Bay, FL, Joan Collins Joy and her husband, David, of Deep River and Bruce Collins and his wife, Janet, of Glastonbury; five grandchildren, Leslie Bertrand of Salem, MA, Gregory Collins of Barefoot Bay, FL, Courtney Collins Joy of Deep River, David Joy, Jr. of Temecula, CA, and Robin Lynch and her husband, Joseph, of Glastonbury; two great-grandchildren, Mason and Logan Lynch of Glastonbury; two sisters, Stephanie Kufel of Clinton and Phyllis Maulucci of Manchester and many nieces and nephews. Helen was predeceased by three sisters, Jean Lynch, Emily Noce and Bernice Flamio and a brother, Frank Marchut.
Sheehan Hilborn Breen Funeral Home of West Hartford is assisting the Collins family with funeral arrangements. There will be no calling hours. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to Middlesex Hospice and Palliative Care, 28 Crescent Street, Middletown, CT or to a