Helyne (Palecki) McMullen, 93, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, passed away on May 3, 2019 at Casey's Pond Senior Living Community in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She is survived by many nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews; and, great-great nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 35 years, Hugh A. McMullen; her twin brother, Anthony Palecki; and her younger brother, Edward Palecki.
Helyne was born on October 26, 1925 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from St. Francis Academy in Pittsburgh and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Duquesne University in 1947 and her Master’s Degree in Literature from the University of Pittsburgh in 1951. She met her future husband, Hugh (her sister-in-law’s uncle), through her brother Ed in 1948. Helyne and Hugh enjoyed each other’s company for 25 years before they finally married in 1973.
Helyne, a devout Catholic, was active in the Legion of Mary and was Secretary and Board Member of the Catholic Inter-racial Council of Pittsburgh. She followed the Catholic Worker Movement and volunteered to serve with Dorothy Day at the Catholic Worker House in New York City to care for the homeless. Helyne strongly believed that no one should ever be cold or hungry.
Helyne worked as a teacher with the Allegheny County school district for more than 30 years. She especially enjoyed teaching fourth grade and often said that she had the most wonderful and rewarding profession in the world. Upon retiring from teaching, Helyne enjoyed traveling and visiting family with her husband. One of the highlights was traveling to Lithuania, the birthplace of her parents, Adolph and Anna, and meeting many long lost relatives. Helyne was passionate about music, literature, nature and adventures with her family.
Above all, Helyne was a wonderful aunt to her large and loving family and a devoted wife to Hugh. She lived a full life and will always be remembered as a good, honest and kind person who never had a mean word to say about anyone. She had a warm and wonderful smile and contagious laugh and will be greatly missed by her family and all those who had an opportunity to know her.
Friends may attend Visitation on June 6, 2019 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at McDermott Funeral Home, 1225 Chartiers Avenue, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. John of God Parish – St. Mary Church, 1011 Church Avenue, McKees Rocks on June 7, 2019 at 9:30 AM. Following Mass, Helyne’s ashes will be placed with those of her husband, Hugh, at St Casimir Cemetery, 1507 Hamilton Road, Pittsburgh. McDermott Funeral Home, McKees Rocks will be handling the arrangements. At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a homeless shelter or food bank of your choice.
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