Helen Femino

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Dec. 19, 2012

Helen Markiewicz Femino, 90, originally of Newport Street, Sheatown section of Nanticoke, and formerly of Middletown, R.I., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at Providence Place, Drums.

Born Jan. 7, 1922, in Nanticoke, she was a daughter of the late John and Stella Siminski Markiewicz.

Helen attended Holy Trinity Elementary School and Newport Township High School. She was employed as a supervisor at Bell Telephone of New York for 20 years. She also co-owned and operated Distinctive Woodcraft, an antique furniture restoration business, in Newport, R.I., with her late husband, Richard Femino, for more than 30 years. After her education, Helen relocated to Brooklyn, N.Y., where she worked as a caretaker of young children, and later as an employee for Bell Telephone.

She married Richard Femino, a U.S. naval officer, in 1965. Stationed in Roda, Spain, for two years, they also traveled across Western Europe before returning to the United States in the 1970s.

After her husband's retirement from the Navy in 1974, they settled in Newport, where they opened their furniture restoration business. Many of their customers resided on Newport's historic Ocean Drive and included Janet Auchincloss, the mother of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Helen was an accomplished singer who performed with the Island Chorus of Portsmouth, R.I. Throughout her life, her greatest joy was spending time with her family and friends. She returned to the Wyoming Valley often staying at a vacation home at Shickshinny Lake. An impeccable dresser, Helen was a refined individual with a kind, gentle soul who always opened her home to others. She was at home with the very affluent as well as with those of more humble origin, and enjoyed the respect and affection of both.

Preceded in death by her husband in 2001, Helen is survived by her siblings, Jane Valaitis, Nanticoke; Leonard Markiewicz, Wapwallopen; Balbina Kashatus, Wayne; Norbert Markiewicz, Wapwallopen; several nieces and nephews; and her step-family, who reside in Connecticut.

Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 9:30 a.m. at the Grontkowski Funeral Home, 51-53 W. Green St., Nanticoke. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by the Rev. James Nash and held at 10 a.m. St. Faustina Parish, 520 S. Hanover St. Calling hours will be Friday from 6 until 8 p.m. Interment will be in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Sheatown section of Nanticoke.

Published in Times Leader on Dec. 20, 2012