Tracy Helin
1970 - 2016
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Tracy Helin finally won his ten year battle with cancer by walking away on August 15th, 2016. Born on January 26, 1970 in Springfield, MA; Tracy graduated from Minnechaug High School in Wilbraham, MA; obtained a culinary degree from Newbury College in Brookline, MA; BA in Sociology from Central CT State University and his MA in Social Science from Wesleyan University. Tracy dedicated most of his life and career to advocacy on behalf of many issues that were near and dear to his heart. His hobbies included: fishing, cooking, sporting events (New York Rangers and Red Sox) concerts, golfing and gardening. He was particularly proud to finish his golf career by parring Pebble Beach's 18th hole. Recognizing that illness shouldn't prevent achievements, Tracy completed 2 full marathons and 11 half marathons in a 3 year period; completing some races while receiving treatment for his illness. He credits his recent comfort and longevity to the medical marijuana program and was happy to provide testimony last spring to the Connecticut General Assembly in support of additional access for patients who may benefit from the program. A resident of Middletown CT for the past 23 years, Tracy leaves behind his dedicated and loving wife of 20 years Christy Kovel; his parents Joyce and Donald Ogonowski of Hampden MA; and John Helin of South Hadley MA; his sister Jennifer Deslauriers, her husband Mark and his nephew Josh of Feeding Hills MA; stepsisters Debbye Mack, Denise Henkind and Dawn Courtney. Tracy also leaves his father in law William Kovel (Kathleen Didato) of Middletown CT and extended family of Katharine, Jimmy, William (Sara) Kovel and their children Grace, Owen and Everett; Kimberly and Tiffany; Kenn, Judi, Jack, Gina, "Aunt" Mary Neidig; and many aunts, uncles and cousins in the Helin & Spear families. Tracy had many devoted friends from near and far, too numerous to mention. Special thanks to Tracy's supportive medical team, including: Dr. Toni Choueiri and Dr. Rana McKay from Dana-Farber and Dr. Miklos Fogarasi from Quinnipiac University. Additionally, special gratitude to the Hospice Team at Middlesex Hospital, whose loving care both in the home and on the 7th floor provided comfort and support. A celebration of Tracy's life will be held on Saturday August 20th, 2016 at 11:00 AM at The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station, 55 Bridge Road in Haddam CT. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in memory of Tracy Helin to support cancer research and patient care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 or via www.dana-farber.org/gift or to NORML www.NORML.org/support or to Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care 28 Crescent Street Middletown CT 06457 www.middlesexhospital.org/donatenow



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Published in Hartford Courant from Aug. 17 to Aug. 18, 2016.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
AUG
20
Celebration of Life
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by the family
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29 entries
August 31, 2016
Tracy probably didn't even know it but he was a favorite customer of my business for over 20 years. I'm so sorry for your loss Christy and know you're hurting, but feel comfort in the amazing legacy Tracy has left behind.
Jim Sweeney
August 25, 2016
My sincere condolences to Kristy and the Helin family. Tracy was an awesome guy who I had the pleasure of working with at CAHS. May he rest in peace!
Linda Martinez
August 21, 2016
Kristy and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. My condolenses to you and your family and friends. Love Giovanna (Augie's Mom)
Giovanna Paponetti
August 19, 2016
I'm so sorry for your loss. I met you at 6:00 one morning in 2007 while going to foxwoods for a Food Stamp event. You guys touched my heart the way you loved each other. I will miss him!
Gloria Beltran
August 19, 2016
I went to school with Tracy and knew the Spear family very well. I am so sorry for your loss.
Samantha Impoco-Giuggio
August 18, 2016
I am deeply shocked and saddened by this news. My heart is with you Christy and all of Tracy's family. What a fine gentle man.
Eric Deane
August 18, 2016
RIP Tracy. Your life was truly well-lived.
Phyllis Cappuccio
August 17, 2016
Dear Christy,

Thoughts and prayers go out to you at this
difficult time.

Cherish the memories.

Maureen Richards
August 17, 2016
Christy: My deepest sympathy to you and your family during this difficult time. Smile at the memories - we should all be so lucky to find and to share the love you and Tracy had. Big hugs! xo
Kelly Colonghi
August 17, 2016
My love and prayers and thoughts to you Christy and your family. Bev
Beverley Brakeman
August 17, 2016
Christy:

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. What a wonderful tribute to Tracey's life and legacy, his passion and your love and devotion to each other all of these years.
Mike & Ann Hebert
August 17, 2016
I am sorry for your loss but feel joyful after reading the obit that you had this wonderful man in your life. Do not put a time frame on your grieving, but also bask in the memories you have of your life together.
Gloria Jasieniecki
August 17, 2016
My thoughts & prayers are with Tracy's family & close friends. I met Tracy 8 years ago at work, & through him, met Christy. Their love story has been truly inspiring (true love never dies) & Tracy took on cancer with dignity, grace, & even humor. He finished strong. I am a better person for having known him.

Black pants, blue shirt...
J. Ciparelli
August 17, 2016
Christy-I am sorry to hear about your husband, but what a beautiful tribute to a man who lived an extraordinary life. My prayers go out to you and your family.
Lori Blackburn
August 17, 2016
May you find comfort in all the beautiful memories you made together as you reflect on life moments. Much love and prayers to you and your family.
Karen Rolen
August 17, 2016
Christy, I am so sorry for your loss. I see your strength shining through every post on Facebook but still hope you feel surrounded by the love and support of family, friends, and Tracy, who are all united in helping you as needed in the times ahead. Keeping you and your family in my prayers, Monique.
Monique Gagnon German
August 17, 2016
Christy,
Deepest condolences to you and your family on the love of this wonderful man. His was a life so very well lived. My heart goes out to you.
Carol Buckheit
August 17, 2016
My very deepest Condolences to his Wife and Family. Tracey an Amazing advocate for our Children & Families.The passion, I had the great pleasure of working with him on several community projects in Hartford and NB. You will be truly missed Tracey.. Keep Shining from the Heavens above Strength & Perseverance is what you have shown us!!RIP my Dear Friend....
Lynette Correa
August 17, 2016
Christy,
Thinking of you and sending love and support.
Molly McAllister
August 17, 2016
I never met Tracy and only knew him through Christy and Facebook where I could benefit from him sharing his honest, funny, smart, and courageous self.

Christy, I thank you and Tracy for sharing your lives with me. I've learned a lot from each of you.

A mentor of mine once said that someone or something only has power over you if you let it. Tracy never let illness have that power. He lived his life the Tracy way.

You are both an inspiration. The love he brought into this world will live through you, Christy, and be here long after we say our goodbyes.
Suzi Craig
August 17, 2016
Dear Christy and family,

My heart just aches for all of you.
Tracy's life was such an inspiration to me, to all of us. His spirit and courage to share his story has blessed so many. He is at peace; and I pray to God for grace, peace and strength for you and your family to get through today, and all your days ahead.
Love and all of God's blessings.

"Angel on earth fly away home, you did it well"
Sharon Heslin
August 17, 2016
Dear Christy:

We are deeply saddened, but we take great comfort in knowing that Tracy's spirit and soul will continue to guide you with his grace. Tracy was an amazing witty person and I am thankful every day that Brian had such a wonderful friend who he cherished. We look forward to honoring and celebrating his life with you on Saturday. Take care. With our sympathy and love.

Beth and Brian Berry
Beth Berry
August 17, 2016
Tracy was (is) awesome.

T will always be on my mind... especially as I watch our beloved Boston Red Sox while downing Bud Lights, with a sausage, peppers and onion chaser (w/spicy brown mustard). :)

Trace made such a positive impact on my life!
August 17, 2016
My sincere condolences to you Christy and all of Tracy's family. He will live in all our hearts forever.
Whitney Sears
August 17, 2016
Jen - When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. I extend my most sincere condolences to you & your family.
Kim Ray
August 17, 2016
I lost touch with Tracy beyond high school, but I felt like I still knew him all these years later, thanks to his ability to craftily recount his experiences on Face Book these past several years. Anyone that read his posts felt like they were there with him, experiencing his joys and sorrows in life, even if only a small part. He had a way of touching the hearts and souls of others like no other. His strength and determination to fight was admirable, his positive energy contagious. I can only hope if cancer hits close to home for me or my family in the years to come, I can be half as positive and courageous as he was. He was an inspiration to us all. I never met Christy but it's apparent they shared a deep love that is also admirable. May the memories of Tracy be forever in your heart. I will think of him often and honor this true hero of a human being.
GinaMarie DelVecchio-Jenks
August 17, 2016
Kim and Family,
I am so sorry for your loss. It was truly my honor to have met this special man! May the memories bring some peace in this difficult time.My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kelli
Kelli Botteon
August 17, 2016
Tracy-a true friend! You won your battle and all who had the pleasure of knowing you won, too! You inspire others to be strong, kind and better than before meeting you. Missing you already.
Stacy Marcella
August 17, 2016
I am so sorry for your loss!
Jeanine Plante
Jeanine Plante
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