- Published: October 14, 2010
Helen L. Nehez died peacefully on Sept. 21 at Friends Care Community surrounded by her loving family. She was 87.
Helen was born Dec. 23, 1922, in Clairton, Pa., three months after her parents, the late Steve and Zsofia Sumegi, immigrated to the United States from Hungary on the Laconia II through Ellis Island. She was very proud of her Hungarian heritage and, on rare occasions, let it be known that if she had been born in Hungary, she would have been born to royalty.
Helen graduated from high school in 1941 from Divine Redeemer Academy in Elizabeth, Pa., which was the basis for her strong Catholic faith. She married Stephen Michael Nehez on June 10, 1950, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in McKeesport, Pa. After a short stay in Akron, Ohio, the couple moved to Yellow Springs in 1951, where she had been a member of St. Pauls Catholic Church ever since.
The most important things to Helen were her faith and her family. She enjoyed painting, stained glass, reading, nursing, her Hungarian Vizsla dogs, feeding birds, caring for sick or injured animals, gardening and being on the computer, where she discovered a vast new world of information. She was well-known for making sure nobody left her home hungry, and for cooking her specialties, Hungarian cabbage rolls and nut strudel.
Helen was preceded in death by an infant brother, Pisti Sumegi, in Hungary in 1921, an infant sister, Margitka Sumegi, in Clairton, Pa. in 1927, by her husband of 53 years, Stephen Michael Nehez Sr. in 2003 and her 14-year-old son, Stephen Michael Nehez Jr. in 1967.
Survivors include her daughter, Loretta A. Nehez of Ukiah, Calif. and son, Paul S. Nehez of Yellow Springs; sister Irene Mandy of Cathedral City, Calif.; several cousins, nieces and nephews, including nephew John Buhaly and his wife, Diane, of Federal Way, Wash., niece Judy Knox of Cerritos, Calif.; and many close friends.
A mass of Christian burial was held at St. Pauls Catholic Church, with burial at St. Pauls Church Cemetery. If desired, contributions in her memory may be sent to St. Pauls Catholic Church, Friends Care Community, the Hospice of Dayton or a charity of choice.