A. Helen Garofano

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Annunziata Helen Garofano, 96, of Rutland, died at the Rutland Health Care Center on January 29, 2013.

Helen was the daughter of the late Philomena and Nicholas Romano, and was predeceased by her late husband, Philip. Helen was born on August 17, 1916, in Rutland, Vt., and was educated in Rutland schools before moving to Norwalk, Conn., where she attended and graduated from Norwalk High School. She was a good student and terrific athlete. Helen played on the girls' basketball team in high school and she was an avid swimmer.

After high school, she took some post-graduate business courses, but then returned to Rutland to assist her parents with their business, the former Romano's Bakery on Meadow Street. It was here that she met and married her husband of 65 years, Philip Garofano, on February 1, 1942.

Helen's greatest joy in life was cooking and feeding someone! - The bigger the crowd, the better. Another joy that Helen and Phil enjoyed together was following their beloved Yankees and attending games when they could.

Helen and Phil also weathered many misfortunes together. They had owned a home and small business in Pittsford that burned in an accidental fire. Helen moved back to Rutland with Phil and two children.

They owned another small eatery in Rutland but eventually closed it to start Helen's pizza business in her home which she operated for several years. This captures her spirit - her strong belief in God and her church and the belief that all things are possible if you are willing to work for them. She passed this on to her children.

Helen is survived by her seven children, daughter Jean Sawicki and husband Edward of Mansfield, Conn., daughter Jane Curran and her husband Sid of Monkton, Md., daughter Amelia Garofano of Bradenton, Fla., son Philip Jr. and his wife Paula of West Greenwich, R.I., daughter Lena Drzewiczewski and her husband Stephen of Wallingford, Vt., son Lewis and his wife Mary of Proctor, Vt., and daughter Penelope "Penny" Garofano of Rutland, Vt.; her 12 grandchildren, Kristen and Robert, Tracey and Janna, Rebecca and Beth Ann, Meg and Jacob, Melissa and Stephen, Kate and Louis; and her 13 great-grandchildren.

Calling hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013, at the Clifford Funeral Home, 2 Washington St., Rutland. A Mass of Christian Burial will also be celebrated on Saturday at 12:00 noon at St. Peter's Church. Interment will be in the Calvary Cemetery.

Memorial donations in Helen's name may be made to St. Peter's Church, Convent Avenue in Rutland in lieu of flowers.
Published in Rutland Herald on Jan. 31, 2013
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