Love God, love each other and enjoy life, especially your youth!
That is what “Babcia” (grandma in Polish) wanted to leave as parting wisdom to her family. She didn’t need to say that because her whole life was an example of her trust and love for God and love for people. It was always incomprehensible to her when she would hear of people hating each other or holding grudges, especially towards another family member. “How can that be?” she would ask.
Babcia lived under German occupation in Poland during the prime of her youth, age 15-21 — and another 20 years under Communist occupation. Her many stories about the war always had the same underlying message: all people are capable of doing good or bad, whether they are Germans, Russians, Poles, Jews, Christians, rich or poor. Under German occupation, she asked a German soldier why he looked so sad. He was surprised that a Pole saw “him” as a person and not just his Nazi uniform, she replied — “I may hate you as my country’s enemy, but I don’t hate you as a human being.” Her life was full of such seemingly simple statements and actions that will remain forever in our memories.
Growing up in the poor Polish village of Podborze, Helen loved to travel the map in school. She never imagined at that time that she would one day live in America — or visit Alaska, places she read and dreamed about!
Helen, her husband Marian, and children, George, John and Anna immigrated to America in 1964, settling in New Jersey. Helen has lived in Hermiston since 1988 with daughter Anna Rademacher, “son-in-love” Dave and grandchildren Ryan, Kasia and Mark. Her two sons, George and John, and eight grandchildren (Janusz, Chris, Scott, Justyn, Roland, Natasha, Christie and Katie) are scattered across the USA and the world.
Services celebrating Babcia’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 21 at Our Lady of Angels Catholic Church: Rosary at 10:30 a.m., Mass at 11 a.m. Lunch will follow at the parish hall at noon. If you knew Babcia, please come to any or all of the services.
Contributions in Helen’s memory may be made to Franciscan Missions or Our Lady of Angels Religious Education c/o of Burns Mortuary of Hermiston.
Private family burial will be at the Hermiston Cemetery, Hermiston, Oregon.
Please sign the online condolence book at burnsmortuaryhermiston.com Burns Mortuary of Hermiston, Oregon is in care of arrangements.