Helen Varaljay

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VARALJAY, HELEN Helen Varaljay, of Fairfield, died peacefully on Sunday, June 16, surrounded by her family. Beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, extraordinary woman, Helen Varaljay was born in Manhattan on August 10, 1914, the first child of Helen and Joseph Eros, and graduated from Julia Richman High School, an elite public high school for girls, where students were admitted on the strength of their performance on an entrance exam. After she married Michael Varaljay in 1939, they moved to Connecticut, first to Black Rock, then Westport, before settling in Fairfield in 1955, and together they raised Jeanne Reed of Bexley, Ohio, Linda Paduano of Northford, Connecticut, and Abbey Auger of Charlotte, North Carolina. Her adored sister Rose Boros died in 1953 and her devoted and beloved husband died in 1971. Immediate survivors are her daughters and their husbands, Joseph Reed, Donald Paduano, and Harvey Auger; grandchildren Jay Reed of Providence, Katy Reed of Bridgeport, Mick Reed of Southport, Suzy Adams of Charlotte, Chip Auger of Chicago, Craig Paduano of Branford, Debbie Lucibello of Northford, and Cari Paduano of North Branford; and great-grandchildren Skyler and Sierra Adams, Natalia and Tessa Lucibello, Henry Basham, and Sohana and Joseph Logan Reed. Her vitality for life will live in them. Throughout her long and productive life, she brought wit and wisdom to everything and everyone in her world, in every capacity, in every role, whether family or friends or community or career. Above all, she rejoiced in her family and was its hub and heart. Fun and food-filled Wednesdays with MomMom were a tradition for her grandchildren and their friends for many decades. She enjoyed reading, especially the classics of English and American literature, Elderhostels, traveling in the U.S.A. and abroad, despite having a native New Yorker's view that Manhattan is the center of the universe, and was an expert knitter, crocheter, and Scrabble player. She was known for her generous nature and enjoyed conversations with everyone she met. She lived a life of service and leadership and had a long career as secretary to each headmaster at Andrew Warde High School from its inception in 1956 until she retired in1980. She had a strong sense of community service and spread her personal philanthropy over a wide area, as a member of the governing body of her church; an officer of Southport Woman's Club, AARP, and Calvin Seniors; an ESL tutor at Fairfield Woods Middle School and Literacy Volunteers; a Senior Citizen Intern in Washington. On her 85th birthday, Fairfield's First Selectman presented her with a proclamation that honored her as a dedicated and caring member of the community. She was dearly treasured, is mourned with sorrow, and will be greatly missed. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM Wednesday June 19, 2013 directly at Calvin United Church of Christ, 901 King's Highway East in Fairfield. The parking lot is located behind the church and the entrance to it is located on Hibiscus Street. Her interment will follow at Mt. Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport. The family requests that contributions may be made in her memory to Calvin United Church or the Fairfield Woods Branch library.

Published in the Minuteman on June 19, 2013
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