Helen “Ella” Niski, 100, passed away peacefully on Oct. 17, 2021. She was the widow of Edward “Baldy” Niski. Ella was born on Oct. 31, 1920, in the Brooklyn section of Waterbury, to the late John Subataitis Sr. and Mary (Ivanacicius) Grebas.
Helen lived in Naugatuck since 1953. Leading an active life, she was a member and past president of the Crusader VFW Post 1946 Women’s Auxiliary, the Naugatuck Chapter 495 American Association of Retired Persons, the Evergreen Club 50 of Waterbury Hospital, Beacon Valley Grange 103, Excelsior Pomana Grange 7, an associate member of Veterans Who Care, Senior Women’s Friendship Club of Naugatuck and Naugatuck Senior Center. She was a past member of the Lithuanian Club 48 of Waterbury and past state president of the Connecticut Chapter American War Mothers. In 1994, Helen was an Auxiliary Post 1946 member of the year and, in 1987, she was Naugatuck Mother of the Year. Ella volunteered at Beacon Brook Health Center, West Haven Veteran’s Administration Hospital and Naugatuck Chapter Red Cross Bloodmobile. Helen very much enjoyed marching in local parades, she worked on Buddy Poppy Drives for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. She was a long-time communicant of St. Hedwig’s Church and also baked an amazing apple pie.
She is survived by two sons, Alphonse Niski Sr. and his wife, Cathy, from Marlboro, Mass., and Scott Niski and his wife, Leanne, from Warren, R.I.; three daughters, Elaine Talevi and her late husband, Dave, of Wells, Maine, Gay Pettorini and her husband, John, from Kennebunk, Maine, and Linda Kemmerly and her husband, Douglas, from Chatham, Mass.; ten grandchildren, John, Al, Karen, Sharon, David, Jason, Marisa, Leia, Sage and Sophia; and 14 great-grandchildren, Joseph, David, Jack, Olivia, Brandon, Eva, Lydia, Emma, Lauren, Jason, Joanna, Zyra, Jack and Eli.
In addition to her husband and parents, she is predeceased by her two sons, Edward and Milo; two brothers, John and Joseph; and her granddaughter, Vanessa.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Vincent Ferrer Church, 1006 New Haven Road, Naugatuck. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Cross Street, Naugatuck. Calling hours will be prior to Mass from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck.
Memorial contributions may be made to the David F. Talevi Foundation, P.O. Box 67, Wells, ME 04090.
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