Helen Lefkowitz, 91, lifelong resident of Utica, passed away peacefully on Sunday night, July 10, 2016, in the Sycamore House at Sitrin Healthcare Center, New Hartford.
Helen was born in Utica, the daughter of the late Harry and Frances Winnick Cohen. After graduating from Utica Free Academy in 1943, she worked as a retail salesperson for such well known area boutiques as The Blue Dress Shop, Winners, and Picker's where she gained her expertise in fashion color coordination and accessorizing. On September 15, 1946, Helen married her paperboy and high school sweetheart, Milton "Manny" Lefkowitz in Temple Beth El, Utica. They were married 67 years before his passing in 2014.
Helen was a member of Temple Emanu-El, Utica, for over sixty years and active in its Sisterhood. In earlier years, she prepared the Hanukkah and Passover dinners with record attendance due to her infamous chicken soup and brisket recipes. In later years, she became a Daughter of the Nile while her husband served as Ziyara's 92nd Potentate.
Helen enjoyed walking at Sangertown Square with a wonderful group of active seniors (they know who they are). This activity led her to participate in the 2011 Boilermaker 3-Mile Walk at the age of 86. She enjoyed going out to lunch or dinner with her girlfriends, and listening and swing dancing to the Big Band sound of Benny Goodman. Her hobbies included reading, playing bridge, and mastering the game strategies of Mahjong. She loved competing at Mahjong and spending time with her Mahjong club members, who would frequently remark on her "ruthless" approach.
Helen is survived by her two daughters and son-in-law, Susan Lefkowitz, of Utica, and Billie and Lawrence Trapani, of Manlius; her grandchildren, Michael and Emily Trapani; her sister and brother-in-law, Marilyn and Robert Sonne, of Utica; her sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Betty and John Moore, of State College, PA, Elinor Kreigsman, of Seattle, WA, and Midge Lefkowitz, of New York, NY; and by cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2016, at 11 a.m., at Temple Emanu-El, 2710 Genesee Street, Utica. Interment will be at Temple Beth El Cemetery, Whitesboro, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband, Manny.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a contribution, in Helen's memory, to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, or the Ziyara Shrine Hospital Patient Transportation Fund, Ziyara Temple, 251 Genesee Street, Utica, 13501.