Obituary of Helen Katucki
Helen E. Katucki
Helen E. Katucki passed away on Sunday January 31, 2021, at the age of 90. Her son and helper Peter was at her side. She is survived by her five children, Marie, Christine, Gregory, Peter, and Katherine; sons-in-law Joseph Raiti, Michael Pecoraro, Paul Lacorazza, and daughter-in-law Janice Rineer Katucki; her grandchildren, Christina Shand, Dr. Daniel Shand, M.D., Carolyn Shand, Dr. Jeffrey Monroe, Ph.D., Jacob Monroe, Troy Katucki, and Evan Katucki; four great grandsons and one great granddaughter, and a niece and seven nephews.
Mrs. Katucki was predeceased by George, her beloved husband of sixty-two years; her two sisters, her three brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, a son-in-law, a grandson, and a niece and nephew.
A kind and gentle woman, Helen was a good Christian and showed respect, compassion, and generosity to all. People responded to her inner beauty that shined from her eyes and smile. She observed and considered that people she knew and strangers she did not know may be suffering with silent desperation and pain, and she was moved with pity.
Mrs. Katucki was a faithful parishioner at St. Anthony’s Church since coming to Nanuet in December 1957 from Brooklyn with her husband and two preschool daughters. Since that time, she had three more children and raised all five in her Nanuet home, where she remained up to the time of her death.
St. Anthony’s Church and parish family remained central to Mrs. Katucki’s spiritual life. Helen attended mass faithfully on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation up until last year when it was no longer safe to do so.
The center of Mrs. Katucki’s life from the time he first asked her to dance, when she was twenty-one, was her beloved husband, George, the love of her life. Helen knew a good man had found her and she was married to George in less than a year’s time at Blessed Visitation Church, Brooklyn. With George, she built a life and marriage that lasted more than sixty-two years.
Helen was a faithful and supportive wife to George from the very beginning of their marriage when he was working full-time as a chemist at the Charles Pfizer Headquarters in Brooklyn and pursuing his master’s degree in chemical engineering at night. Helen parented their five children while George was frequently away from home on engineering projects at various locations throughout the United States during his professional career. In the mid-1980s, as George obtained a second master’s degree in environmental engineering while working and traveling on business for his career at Thomas J. Lipton, Helen was a supportive wife. For decades, Helen aided George in his many leadership responsibilities for the Polish American Cultural Association of Rockland County.
Helen was a proud first-generation Polish American and a proud Brooklyn girl. She graduated from Visitation School, where on Friday afternoons she loved to go over and sing the hymns for Sunday mass. Helen graduated early from Prospect Heights High School (also known as Girls Commercial High School) with a four-year academic course and Regents diploma. Up to age 90, she regretted not having attended college and not receiving a college education and degree. Helen worked at Travelers Insurance Company until she began a family, as was the custom.
Helen was a devoted and loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Her husband, George, said she was most beautiful and radiantly happy when she was holding an infant or small child.
Helen nurtured her children’s interests and talents. She was proud of their accomplishments, which included nursing careers; masterful sewing; obtaining a pilot’s license; mechanical ingenuity and teaching engineering at a college level; music and the arts; business acumen, running, and gardening.
Like the Blessed Virgin Mother, who saw her son suffer, Helen witnessed her children’s sorrowful times and tragedies. Helen tried to comfort her kids as best as she could and she prayed for their intentions daily.
As a mother, Helen respected her daughters’ and son’s parenting. She saw the great love they had for their own children and this pleased her. She recognized how hard they worked to provide the very best care for their children and grandchildren.
Helen retired from Bamberger’s / Macys Nanuet in 1997. She held many positions during her decades there but was remembered as the friendly and cheerful gift-wrap lady who was skillful at creating decorative bows and made her customers’ gifts look beautiful. Although she worked at Macys to ease financial anxieties and to fund her children’s educations and extracurricular activities, her great reward was the friendships of her coworkers, many of whom were mothers and St. Anthony parishioners like herself. She appreciated her coworkers’ emotional support during her recovery from breast cancer in 1987 and other difficult times. Up to the present, she remembered the ladies who shared their recipes and cooking expertise with her as she passed this knowledge on to her own sous-chef. With pride and joy, she marched in the 1994 Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, fulfilling a goal.
In retirement, Helen and her husband became members of Nanuet Seniors II, where they were known for making new members feel welcomed. At St. Anthony’s Church, Helen was a member of the Blessed Mother Sodality and for a time was a teacher’s assistant in the CCD program. The Katuckis also found fellowship and developed lasting friendships in the St. Anthony’s senior club. Helen and George found joy working in their garden and traveling. As Helen’s physical health decreased, her mind and her spirit and her faith in God remained strong to the end.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to People to People Rockland County or St. Labre Indian School, 1000 Tongue River Road, Ashland, MT 59003-9438.
Mass of Christian Burial is at St. Anthony’s Parish Church, 36 West Nyack Road, Nanuet, N.Y. at 11:30 A.M.
728 West Nyack Road
West Nyack, NY 10994
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