Helen Knapka

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December 25, 2010

Helen Knapka, 97, of 204 Old County Road, Benton, Pa., died peacefully in the presence of her granddaughter at 7:25 a.m. Christmas Day, December 25, 2010, at the Birchwood Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Nanticoke, where she was a patient since August 20, 2010. Born in Pittston on November 4, 1913, she was a daughter of the late William and Josephine (Domulevitch) Kvietkauskas. She was a 1931 graduate of GAR High School, Wilkes-Barre, and resided in Fairmount Springs since 1939. Helen was last employed by the former Leslie Fay Inc., Wilkes-Barre, retiring in 1972. She also had been employed earlier in Philadelphia, Pa., and Newark, N.J. A hard-worker with steadfast values, her primary occupation throughout her life was tending the farm and raising her sons in Fairmount Springs. Helen was well known in the area for writing letters to the editor that often appeared in local newspapers and even The Washington Post. She was very intelligent and enjoyed reading and doing difficult puzzles, and in the 1930s she won a $65 watch in a national magazine's puzzle contest. Her greatest love was nature, and she spent most of her later years tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, and feeding and watching her beloved birds. She will be remembered with great love and respect by her family and friends. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Walter John Knapka, on February 22, 1942; and by her three sons, Joseph, Thomas and Andrew Knapka. Surviving are four grandchildren, MaryEllen DeMarco, Newtown Square, Pa.; Joseph A. Knapka, El Paso, Texas; Cynthia A. Haller, Sykesville, Md.; and John J. Knapka, Meadville, Pa.; five great-grandchildren, Steven J. Haller, Christina A. Haller, Annze J. Knapka, Abigail M. Knapka, and Nicholas J. Knapka; a nephew, William Kvetkas, Annapolis, Md.; a niece, Elaine Mulcahy, Morris Plains, N.J.; as well as various cousins, including Helen Wempa, Irving, Texas (102 years old) and Dan Wilverding, Wilkes-Barre. Information about a memorial gathering will appear in a future edition of the newspaper within the next two weeks. Donations to honor Helen's life may be made to the National Audubon Society, 225 Varick St., New York, NY 10014. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Benton. To sign the guestbook or to send a message of condolence, please go to .

Published in Times Leader on Dec. 29, 2010