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Helen T. Connolly, 96, passed away Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester, PA.
Born Helen Schlagheck, she lived in Toledo 85 years, before moving to West Chester in 2003.
In Toledo Helen attended St. Mary's grade school maintaining contact with classmates from the 1920s throughout her life. She was a graduate of Central Catholic High School class of 1936, where she was editor of the school paper. Helen was a member of St. Agnes Parish for over 50 years, before joining Sts Simon and Jude in West Chester. She often told stories of her days working at with Sears and Roebuck in the 30s. She later worked at Central Catholic in the 70s and finally retired from the Lucas County Board of Elections in the early 80s.
Friends and family will most remember Helen for her lively sense of humor, her caring attitude and her
courage. When she lost her husband, Don in 1958, she was a young woman left to raise five children. In later life, when health tragedies re-emerged to strike the family she cherished, again and again, she became a lesson in faith and courage to those around her. Somehow despite or perhaps because of her challenges she found time to cultivate so many life lasting close relationships built around lively political discussions and Notre Dame football.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Connolly; daughters, Ann Connolly and Joan Gignac; son, John Connolly; grandchildren, Bob Connolly and Eric Reitz; brother, John Schlagheck; sister, Marie Noe; parents, Anthony and Laura Schlagheck, and father-in-law, Frank Connolly.
She is survived by her son, Tom Connolly (Pat); daughter, Kathy Reitz; grandchildren, Ami Gignac, Jennifer Mallory, Don Connolly, Doug Connolly, Maureen Gelches and Shannon Nye. Helen dearly loved her great-grandchildren, Phillip, Kiera, Lily and Bella Mallory and Kaley and Liam Gelches. She is survived as well by her sister-in-law, Helen Schlagheck; daughter-in-law, Roberta Connolly; former son-in-law, Joe Gignac; four nieces and two nephews.
Remembrance in West Chester will be private. The family plans to return to Toledo for a memorial mass and gathering in May where Helen will be buried.
Those wishing to make a donation in remembrance of Helen may contribute to the LFS Association
in support of their help and research of a rare inherited disorder that sadly impacted Helen's family; or to Neighborhood Hospice
who comforted us all in Helen's final days; or to a
Arrangements are being handled by the Founds Funeral Home, Inc., West Chester, 610-696-0134.
Online condolences may be made by visiting
Published in Toledo Blade on Apr. 5, 2014
Founds Funeral Home Inc
229 S High St West Chester, PA 19382