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Helena Fraikin, age 87, passed away on November 8, 2023. She was the loving wife of the late Frantz Fraikin. Helena was the daughter of the late Wincenty & Agata (Pauczykovna) Grochowicki, born in the town of Potigny, located in the Normandy region of France on February 22, 1936. She was the third of four children, having an older brother, Edmund, an older sister, Stefania, and a younger sister, Gertrude.
Helena lived a full and fascinating life. Shortly after she was born, she and her family were relocated to Germany, where they remained until after the war. Since both her parents passed while the family was in Germany, Helena and her younger sister Gertrude were taken to an orphanage in Verviers, Belgium once the war was over. While living in Verviers, Helena learned how to sew and trained as a seamstress in several high-fashion houses. She also met the love of her life, Frantz, while working as a shopgirl in his store. They then embarked on a whirlwind romance and were married on June 21st, 1958 at city hall in Verviers, Belgium. Helena continued to work as a seamstress, and soon they welcomed their first son, Marc, born on April 22nd, 1961. Like so many other immigrants before them, Helena and Frantz decided to journey to America and start a new life with new opportunities when Marc was just three months old. They settled in New Britain, Connecticut, and Helena began working in a coat factory. Soon after moving, they welcomed their second son, Alan, who was born on June 26th, 1962. The family eventually moved to Kensington, Connecticut, and Helena began working as a seamstress at New Britain General Hospital. As the years passed, both Helena's sons married, and she became a grandmother to 4 girls. In 1999, Helena retired from New Britain General Hospital, and she and Frantz decided to move to Boca Raton, Florida to be with Alan and his family. There, they enjoyed their twilight years, making many new friends and going on numerous trips and adventures together. In 2018, Helena and Frantz moved to St. Augustine, Florida to be closer to Alan and his family. Sadly, on August 28th, 2019, Helena lost the love of her life and best friend of 61 years when Frantz passed away. As devastated as she was, Helena continued to try and live life to the fullest. In 2022, Helena returned to Connecticut to be closer to her family, where she stayed until she passed and was reunited with her beloved Frantz in Heaven.
Helena enjoyed many hobbies in her life. She loved sewing and often made outfits for her granddaughters. All her friends and family went to her with their sewing needs, ranging from making fishing pole covers to patching up a favorite teddy bear. Everyone knew they could count on Helena for her skill and expertise. She was also an avid reader and was fond of her Harlequin romance novels. Even once her eyesight started to fade, she still would enjoy her "stories" on her big cassette player in the living room. She loved to cook, and many Sundays were spent with family gathered around her dining room table. Helena also liked to watch TV, and she could often be found curled up on the couch with her favorite white blanket watching a rerun episode of M*A*S*H. She loved music and dancing, and she often told stories of Frantz driving her to West Germany to go dancing because that's where all the best dance parties were. Her favorite musician was Engelbert Humperdinck. She would sing along to his songs for hours, and she boasted that her husband spoiled her when he took her to an Engelbert concert when the singer came to Florida. Most of all, Helena loved the beach. She loved the sand, the sea, and getting tan. She loved going with her sons, and then later her granddaughters, to enjoy a day playing at the beach under the warm sun.
Helena is survived by her two sons: Marc Fraikin and his wife Dorene Fraikin, and Alan Fraikin and his wife Eleanor Fraikin, as well as her grandchildren: Heather Williams, Michelle Barbagallo and her husband Paul Barbagallo, Charlene Fraikin and her husband Eric VanTassell, and Ashley Abramczyk and her husband Steven Abramczyk. She is also survived by her great-grandson Ethan VanTassell.
A Memorial Service will be held for Helena on Saturday, November 18, 2023, beginning at 2:00 PM at the Bailey Funeral Home, 48 Broad Street, Plainville, CT 06062. Following the Memorial Service, there will be a reception hosted by the family beginning at 3:30 PM at First and Last Tavern, 32 Cooke St, Plainville, CT 06062. To leave a message of remembrance, please visit www.BaileyCares.com.