NEWPORT TWP. — Mrs. Helen V. Wilkes, of Sheatown, Newport Township, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family, at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. She was 105 years old.
Helen was born in Nanticoke on March 2, 1916, the daughter of the late Joseph and Stella Pohepic Gizinski. Helen was educated in the Nanticoke school system, graduating in 1934. As a young girl she worked at the Duplan Silk Mill as a spinner and tester.
On Nov. 23, 1939, she would marry John, whom she met while singing in the St. Cecelia Choir at St. Mary's Church.
Helen was very active in church and social organizations. She volunteered at the St. Stanislaus Medical Center, was past president and treasurer of the Newport Senior Citizens' Group, sang in St. Mary's choir from the age of 12 and was a member of the Ladies of Mary at St. Faustina Parish and the Women's Catholic Council, serving as secretary. She was a devout Catholic.
She loved music and reading. In high school, Helen played violin and was a member of an all-girl orchestra. Musical groups that she sang with included: the Apollo Club, The Balaikes Group, and the Polish American Sunshine Club Singers. Helen enjoyed dancing and had been seen dancing on WVIA's Polka Party with her friends.
As far as traveling, she visited Poland, Hawaii, Bermuda, the Catskill Mountains and Disney World in Florida. The Florida trip included her two grandchildren, Christine and Carrie. Helen enjoyed reading novels and was a devoted fan of Penn State football, Villanova basketball and the TV show Days of Our Lives. Helen was also famous for her cheesecakes.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John; her sisters, Isabelle and Louise; and brothers, Edward and Leonard.
She is survived by her children, John and his wife, Kathy (Chesney) and Joseph and his wife, Carol (Sokolnicki); grandchildren, Deborah Wilkes Fisher and husband David, Christine Wilkes Beninati and husband John, Carrie Wilkes Williams and husband Jay and Kevin Wilkes and wife, Lindsay (Ludorf) Wilkes; six great-grandchildren, Sophia and Ava Beninati, Abby and Matthew Williams and Hunter and Brayden Wilkes.
Fortunately, "Grammie," as she was called by family and friends, was given the gift of good health and well-being which allowed her to live a very active and independent life-style. Her greatest love was her family. She was always interested and proud of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They will be a daily reminder that "Grammie's" legacy lives on. She will be sadly missed by all.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 9:30 a.m. from Davis-Dinelli Funeral Home, 170 E. Broad St., Nanticoke, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Faustina Kowalska Parish, 520 S. Hanover St., Nanticoke.
Interment will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Wanamie.
Viewing and visitation hours will be Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. The family asks that those attending the visitation and services wear a mask.
To leave the family a condolence or expression of sympathy, please visit www.dinellifuneralhome.com.