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Helen  Salasky

Helen Marie Salasky

March 14th, 1932 - March 7th, 2023

Helen's Obituary

Helen M. Salasky (Rea) of South Haven, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at Clark Retirement Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was 90 years old.

Helen was born on March 14, 1932 to L. Victor and Veronica (Werner) Nolan. She lived a full and blessed life in South Haven. She grew up on Superior St. with her three sisters and one brother. A lifelong member of St. Basil Catholic Church, Helen was firm in her faith and thrived in all that life in a small town could offer. She had a wonderful community surrounding her, full of lifelong friends and a solid family. Family was important to her.

In high school she was active in many clubs and organizations, but her pride and joy was being in the band, playing clarinet and being a majorette. In 1950 she graduated from South Haven High School and was crowned Miss South Haven 1950. Her favorite activities included teaching tap dance, dancing to big band music, and polka dancing. She would continue to polka dance into her eighties. After graduation she worked at S. E. Overton as a secretary.

During high school Helen met the love of her life, Robert (Bob) Salasky from Bangor. She married Bob on February 20, 1953. They were blessed with four sons who were the center of their lives. Collaboratively Helen and Bob were providers, role models, coaches, confidants, and disciplinarians to Mike, Tom, Mark, and Steve. They were an active and busy, sports-centered family. Helen and Bob always had a strong love through the ups and downs of life. For all of her marriage, Helen was a homemaker and devoted wife and mother. A fateful day in 1982 took the life of Bob too soon. Helen and Bob were together for 27 years.

Helen carried on the responsibilities of the family that her and Bob previously shared. She ensured that all four boys graduated from college. This was an important goal she had for her sons as she did not have the opportunity to attend college herself. All four boys went on to marry, and Helen was blessed with not only four daughters-in-law, but ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Helen went on to work locally for Dr. Allen and kept a busy and active life in the town she loved. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends. She was able to visit many places throughout the United States and Europe, including visiting Ireland, her ancestral homeland. Helen participated in and hosted weekly bridge games and went polka dancing on the weekends. She loved to be outdoors, and spent countless hours tending to the plants, flowers, and leaves in her yard.

Summers were a special time for Helen, as it meant being with her boys and their families on their trips to South Haven. Many memories were made from family reunions at Uncle Ray’s on Silver Lake, picking blueberries, or trips for ice cream at Sherman’s Dairy. Helen especially loved taking her grandchildren to the beach and you could often find her sitting at the bottom of the blue stairs. Over many years she traveled to her grandchildren’s sporting events and activities in Indiana, Colorado, and Michigan.

In 2014 Helen’s health started to decline due to Alzheimer’s related dementia. She could no longer maintain her home that was so special to her. The disease slowly robbed her of her memories, energy, and finally her body. She moved to Clark Continued Care Home in Grand Rapids and was a resident there for nine years until she passed.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, L. Victor and Veronica (Werner) Nolan; brother, William; and sisters, Mary and Barbara. She is survived by her sister, Francis (Thomas) Howard of Grand Haven; sister-in -law, Ida Messina of Chicago; Sons: Michael (Patricia) Salasky, Naples, Florida; Thomas (Traci) Salasky, Arvada, Colorado; Mark (Susan) Salasky, St. John, Indiana; Steven (Jennifer) Salasky, East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Also ten grandchildren: Stefanie (Mike) Crofton, Amy Salasky, Rachel and Samuel Salasky, Kathryn Salasky, Robert (Courtney) Salasky, Matthew (Marisa) Salasky, Nicholas, Noah and Andrea Salasky. Three great-grandchildren: Patrick and Chloe Crofton, and Raymond Salasky. Helen is also survived by many special nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the Salasky family is encouraging memorials in Helen’s name be made to St. Basil Catholic Church of South Haven.

A Funeral Mass will be held March 18, 2023 at 1:00PM at St. Basil Catholic Church, 513 Monroe Blvd., South Haven, Michigan with Father Richard Altine officiating. Visitation will be from 11:30AM to 12:30PM at the church prior to the Funeral Mass. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, South Haven.

To view Helen's personal web page please visit www.starksfamilyfh.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to Filbrandt Chapel of Starks Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, 269-637-0333.

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