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Helen Rita Agnes Stewart Print E-mail

Helen StewartHelen Rita Agnes Stewart (neeMurray) died at the age of 90 on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at St. Mary of the Woods in Avon, Ohio surrounded by her loved ones.

Helen, a daughter of Scottish immigrants, was born on February 10, 1928 in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania. She attended St. Colman Catholic Church and parish school in Turtle Creek until moving with her parents and siblings to Elyria, Ohio in 1941. Helen and her family then became parishioners of St. Mary's Catholic Church on Middle Avenue in Elyria where she completed her middle school years at the same parish school. Elyria High School became her alma mater, graduating in 1946. Following graduation, Helen worked for the Ridge Tool Company on Clark Street in Elyria.

During a chance meeting at a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) dance in the basement of St. Mary's Church in 1948, Helen met her future husband, Victor F. Stewart Jr. On their first date, he dressed in a dapper suit accompanied with an electric bow tie. Helen knew then that he would be the love of her life. The two were wed on September 3, 1949 and remained married for 62 years until the death of her beloved on October 29, 2011. They had ten children together, 6 daughters and 4 sons.

Helen was an incredible wife and mother. During a time when women were expected to put their husband's needs before their own, Helen refused to let prescribed gender roles dictate her. Although she took on the brunt of household duties and child rearing, Helen was an equal partner with her husband and actively involved in politics, her community, and sporting activities. She was his supporter and advocate, always by his side; a true friend, a true companion, a true love.

Lincoln once wrote, "All that I am or ever hope to be I owe to my angel mother." Helen was her children's first teacher and as they grew into adulthood, their confidante and closest friend. She was a beautiful, caring, and generous person. She taught the importance of honesty, forgiveness, and perseverance. She believed in helping others and giving back to her community. These values provided a strong foundation for her children's lives.

Helen was a remarkable woman. She was a child of the Great Depression. She took personal responsibility very seriously and her work ethic was disciplined and incomparable. Helen lived her life simply, with genuine humility, dignity, and modesty. She was strong, brave and self-sacrificing. And although she experienced many challenges throughout her life, she seldom complained. Instead, her outlook was positive and filled with wit and wisdom. She was never known to say an unkind word toward others.

Helen's life was guided by her devotion to God and the Roman Catholic Church. Her namesakes truly represented her as a person. St. Helen known for her piety, modesty, and true Christian spirit; St. Rita known for her patience, persistence, and being a peacemaker; and St. Agnes known for her being chaste, steadfast and even a gardener. Helen and her husband Victor were founding members of St. Jude Church and remained life-long parishioners. She was a member of the Holy Rosary Society.

Helen was also involved with community organizations such as the Elyria Women's Club, the Elyria Democrat Women's Club and the Lorain Democrat Women's Club. She loved to travel and visited 38 out of the 50 states in the USA. Her international travel took her to Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico and Canada.

Helen had many interests such as playing golf and watching tennis and baseball. She enjoyed gardening, dancing, reading, and many genres of music from the Big Band Era to musicals, spirituals, and even Punk Rock. Flowers brought a twinkle to her eyes each time, and the sight of a beautiful painting melted her heart.

Helen is survived by her ten children: Barbara (Harry) Thomas of Milledgeville, Georgia; Mark (Sandy) Stewart of Elyria; Kathleen M. (Mohammad) Nilforoushan of Plano, Texas; Michele (Anthony) Lucki of Mt. Gilead, Ohio; Kirk Stewart of Elyria; Connie (Kenneth) Norton of Centerville, Ohio; Joan (Richard) Turner of Grafton, Ohio; Scott Stewart (Ziad Habayeb) of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Denice (Gregory) Anderson of Elyria; and Victor F. (Lynette) Stewart III of Elyria.

She is also survived by her brother Thomas (Phyllis) Murray Jr. of Edgewater, Florida and her two sisters, Marie Schubert and Margaret Hoagland both of Elyria, Ohio.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Victor F. Stewart Jr. of Elyria and her parents, Thomas P. and Helen (nee McCartney) Murray of Elyria, Ohio.

Friends and family will be received at St. Jude Church, 590 Poplar Street Elyria, Ohio on Monday, October 15, 2018 from 9:00 to 11:00. A funeral mass will follow the wake at 11:00 o'clock with the Reverend Father Frank P. Kosem, Pastor, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, tax deductible contributions may be made payable to the Lorain County Community College Foundation at 1005 North Abbe Road Elyria, Ohio in memory of the Victor F. Stewart Scholarship Fund.

Reichlin Roberts Funeral Home at 327 Cleveland Street Elyria, Ohio is handling the arrangements.

» 3 Condolences and Greetings
Dave & Sabrina Bower
sent Wednesday, 17 October 2018 08:52
Helen was just adorable. We are so sad and sorry for your loss. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Big hug especially for Ken and Connie Norton :) Rest in Peach Helen - you will be missed by all that knew you.
suzanne thomas
sent Monday, 15 October 2018 05:02
my love and prayers to all of you. Love Suzie
Nancy & Paul Burris
sent Saturday, 13 October 2018 07:29
Our prayers are with you all. Love, Nancy & Paul
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