Helene Sumoska passed away peacefully Sept. 6, surrounded by family who had helped her celebrate her 102nd birthday two months ago.
Helene was born in the Bronx July 4, 1916 to Polish immigrants Bromslawa (Bertha) and Joseph Szumoski. She grew up in a close-knit family in the Bronx. She graduated Hunter College with a degree in mathematics. After starting work at Bell Laboratories, she earned her master’s degree in mathematics from Columbia University. When Bell Labs relocated from New York to Holmdel, Helene moved (along with her mother, sister and brother) to New Jersey.
She worked for Bell Labs, including doing mathematical calculations for telephone traffic flow simulations and network calibrations and development of early computers. She retired in 1972 with over 28 years of service.
Helene was a life member of the Telephone Pioneers of America organization. Using her language skills, she helped with the Polish translations in Louis and Judene Divone’s book, “Wings of History: The Air Museums of Europe.”
With her mathematical and precise mind, Helene did her own taxes into her ninth decade and could regale all with dates of family and personal events. She was independent, strong and feisty, and the proud mistress of her home. Helene was a faithful communicant of St. Mary Mother of God R.C. Church in Middletown and had a deep devotion to St. Katharine Drexel and St. Pope John Paul II.
Helene was predeceased by her parents, her sisters, Regina Kania and Josephine Lamb, her brother Frank Sumoski, and her nephew Edmund R. Kania. Helene cared lovingly and untiringly for her mother, sister and brother until their deaths.
Helene is survived by her nephew Raymond U. Lamb (and wife Frances), her great-nephews, Stephen T. Kania, Alexander U. Lamb, Christopher U. Lamb and Raymond U. Lamb Jr., and her great-niece Jeanette Kania Wiegartner (and husband John J. Wiegartner).
The family is deeply grateful to devoted caregiver Dianne (“DD”) Tanner who became like family in the past two years and to Meg Mindell and the staff of Halcyon Elder Care LLC for their expertise and compassionate service.
Funeral services were held at John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of the Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Chapel in Middletown and entombment in St. Raymond’s Cemetery, Bronx.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in memory of Helene be made to St. Mary Mother of God R.C. Church, 19 Cherry Tree Farm Road, Middletown, NJ 07748 or to Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (St. Katharine Drexel’s order) at katharinedrexel.org/donate/memorials/.
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