~~Helene Stark Napolitano, of Stamford, CT, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Thanksgiving, November 23rd, 2017.
Helene was born in Brooklyn, NY, on March 1, 1930. She was 87 years old. She was predeceased by her husband, Benjamin, to whom she was married for
Dutiful daughter to Helen (nee Kenney) and W. Bernard Stark. She is survived by her younger sister, Roberta M. Stark, and her four children, Roberta, Michael, Gabrielle, and Christopher. Helene was a solid in-law to out-laws Peter Newman, Karen Johnson, Sarah Ross and Jillian Wright, a steady colleague and loyal friend to many, and, most of all, “Granny” to Louise, Pablo, Silas, Clara, Renaldo, Giselle and Jagger.
Helene was a quiet, unsung woman pioneer, earning a Ph.D. from Fordham University while working full-time and raising four children. She went on to a distinguished and rewarding career as a Full Professor and Chair of the Education Department at Marymount Manhattan College, as well as a member of New York Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, and served for many terms as its President.
Independent and self-reliant, she valued work, education, discipline and modesty. A lifelong student, she never stopped learning (or teaching for that matter), with a predilection for children and the nuns who were her mentors and close acquaintances alike.
Helene had a passion for the ocean, and she captured many beachscapes as an adept water colorist. An avid reader, she was a member of several book clubs and rarely, if ever, watched TV.
She was a patron saint of laundry lint, and orphaned socks. Preferred her wit and gin served dry. Helene was stoic, fighting off the rare touch of melancholy, and met all of her obligations. She was a member of the Ministry and Women’s Guild at Holy Spirit Church. Even at 87, she had a lot left in the tank, leaving loved ones to think of hers as a life cut short.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at Holy Spirit Church, 403 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT. Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 29, 2017 from 4:00 PM-8:00 PM at Thomas M. Gallagher Funeral Home( next to the Knights of Columbus), 453 Shippan Avenue, Stamford, CT( 203)-359-9999.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to The American Indian College Fund, The Connecticut Food Bank, and The Robin Hood Foundation.
If you would like to leave an expression of sympathy for the family online, you may sign the guestbook at www.gallagherfuneralhome.com.