Helen T. Spaniak
PAWTUCKET - Helen Teresa Spaniak (aka Szczepaniak) died on Friday, June 6 in Pawtucket.
She enjoyed talking with and helping family and friends and anyone who needed assistance. Music was a special passion of hers, playing the piano and singing. She loved all animals and had several French Poodles and cats and befriended many urban creatures in her neighborhood. She was also blessed with fine artistic and design skills.
She was born on July 1, 1926 in Manchester New Hampshire to John M. Spaniak of the Webster, Massachusetts Szczepaniak family and Helen Tolkaczewicz Spaniak from Stolowitz, Russia. She and her parents and five sisters lived in New Hampshire, Salem, Massachusetts and Central Falls. She graduated first in her class from Sacred Heart High School in Pawtucket. After her brother-in-law, Dr. Carlos I. Mariscal and her sister, Anne Spaniak Mariscal died; she became the guardian of four of their five children in Pawtucket, later moving to Lincoln. She returned to live in Pawtucket after her retirement and then for the last year had been living at the Jeanne Jugan Residence also in Pawtucket.
She had worked at the former New York Lace Store and Peerless Department Stores in Pawtucket and well as for New York City clothing retailers as a merchandiser and store window decorator. She was a very-well known assistant in her brother-in-law's Optometry practice in Pawtucket. Finally, for many years she managed the Klein Innsbruck ski area lounge in Franklin, Massachusetts and other similar nightspots in Rhode Island with her dear friend, the late Carmine "Tommy" Martello. She was also very active in the St. Raphael Academy Ladies Auxiliary and the St. Joseph School PTA in Pawtucket.
Her sister, Sister Innocentia, O.S.F. (Clara Spaniak) of Pennsylvania, survives her. Sisters Anne Mariscal, Mary Donnelly, Jean Hicks, Martha Spaniak, pre-deceased her. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Francisca Zanni of Johnston, Carlos I. Mariscal of North Attleboro, MA, Maria Elena Arata of Haverhill, MA, Juan Mariscal of Bristol, Ric Mariscal of Pawtucket, Karen Donnelly Worden of Cumberland and Jim Hicks of Cumberland and many grand and great-grand nephews and nieces.
A private family memorial service was held on Thursday June 19, 2014. Those wishing to honor Helen may make a donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor - Jeanne Jugan Residence Home at 964 North Main Street, Pawtucket, RI.
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