Helen Florence Donoghue passed away on April 5, 2020 in Folsom, CA surrounded by her family. Born Helen Zannoni January 25th, 1934 in Holyoke, MA, Helen was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother who especially cherished her Sunday night dinner gatherings with family. In April 1955, she married Jack Donoghue, an Air Force pilot, which meant moving regularly in service to the country. The family settled in Merced, CA where Helen was a nurse at Mercy Hospital for 23 years. She maintained friendships with those from Merced and would light up when her special friends would call or they could visit together.
Helen enjoyed knitting, quilting and crafting. She was an excellent cook who wouldn't allow any meal to end without a homemade dessert, a cup of coffee, and a game of some sort. A lifelong New England sports fan, she suffered for years before celebrating that she lived long enough to see the Red Sox win a World Series, and continued to enjoy the Patriot's Super Bowl victories even when some around her had had enough.Like her mother Florence Zirkle, Helen always dressed stylishly; her signature look of cropped pants and wildly colored, calf-length socks rocked!
She was a devout Catholic, and an active member of various Catholic churches, most recently serving as a Eucharistic minister at St. John the Baptist parish in Folsom.
Helen was predeceased by her brother Robert Zannoni and is survived by her husband of 64 years Jack, her children Mark, Lisa, Michelle, and John Michael, sons-in-law Dave and Ed, and granddaughters Christina and Elizabethas well as numerous relatives in New England. When asked who her favorite was Helen would smile wryly and say "I know…but I'm not telling!". She was a master of expressing her opinion without saying a single word, to the point her family could even read her pursing her lips or rolling her eyes over the telephone. But most of all they remember the kind, witty, charming, and incredibly giving lady that would do anything she could to bring happiness to others.
We love you little Mom. Rest in Peace.
Services will be held at a later date.
Published in Auburn Journal on Apr. 16, 2020.