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Snapshot: Helene Williams

Published: September 22, 2017

The Newtown Bee
2

Occupation: I had a couple jobs throughout my life. After high school, I attended Norwalk Hospital School of Nursing for a year and a half, but had to leave. When I came home, my father said I had to find a job. I made hearing aids in Danbury for 11 years. Then I went to work at Pitney Bowes here in Newtown. I worked there for 27 years then retired, but shortly thereafter I got a call from my nephew asking if I wanted a job. I worked in the field of home care for the elderly as a companion for 18 years, and I just retired from that in June of this year.

Family: My husband Kenn and I met during the hearing aid days. He proposed to me on New Year’s Eve, which was also his birthday. When we got married, he moved in with me. Having been from the Bronx, he loved the idea of farming here and started a small farm of chickens, Irish Dexters, rabbits, goats, and ponies. Around the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, we did birthday parties with our pony Faith in Monroe, Newtown, Bethel, and many other townships. I have two nephews, Al and Michael. When my husband passed away, I gave Al my husband’s lawn business, and he continues to take care of things. Michael kind of keeps tabs on me and is the one that got me back to working again. My niece in Newtown, Kathy, is the dancing traffic guard for the schools.

Pets: The winter of 1995 or 1996 was a horrible time for us, with 100-plus inches of snow and finally a coating of ice, which caused the death of our business ponies Faith and Candy. Today I have my 11-year-old Pomeranian Scooby after breeding Pomeranians for 20 years. I had at least 100 puppies, but he’s the only one I kept.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I’ve been a resident of Hawleyville for 76 years. I was born here and lived here my whole life.

What is your favorite travel destination? My husband and I did three cruises. The first one was back in 1986, and we went to Puerto Rico. I loved when we went to Alaska, it was a good trip. We ended up in Anchorage, and I happen to have a cousin up there so he met up with us and took us back to where he lives in the bush.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My husband. We knew each other for over 50 years and had a good 33-year marriage. I so enjoyed him. To this day I am still finding little cards he used to send me with flowers. I was very proud of Kenn, too. He was a Big Brother and was paired with a teenager, Ted, from Newtown in 1983. They were a good match and were in touch until my husband’s death. Since then, we have remained in touch at least once a month. He is married now living in South Carolina and has two beautiful daughters, who will soon to go off to college with high ambitions.

If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? Kenn. One day, when he was over 70 years old, he went out and bought a convertible. He loved it. I’d want to go out with him in that convertible.

Who is your favorite musical artist? I like all music and listen to the radio a lot now. When Elvis was first around I didn’t care for the music, but now I hear one of his songs and sit there and cry and holler at him for taking all those drugs.

Do you have a favorite TV show? I like comedies, and the show Blue Bloods with Tom Selleck.

What is your favorite food? I go up to my sister’s quite a bit now for meals, and she makes a good breaded pork chop.

What has changed the most in Newtown during your time living here? My high school class was the last to have our graduation held at the Edmond Town Hall. We had Fern Girls then, too. They were girls that wore gowns and walked out under an arch of people holding ferns. Also, growing up my mother would walk me at least a mile to get the school bus at Honan’s Store in Hawleyville.

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