Grafton/Charlton – Helen E. (Flowers) Rutkiewicz, 94, passed away Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016 at Overlook Masonic Health Care Center in Charlton, surrounded by her loving family. Her husband of 58 years, Benjamin Rutkiewicz, passed away in 2001.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Gaye Kenyon and her husband Bill; her son, Peter Rutkiewicz and his wife Diane; her grandchildren, Patrick Parker and his wife Cynthia, Wendy Holsberger and her husband Carl, Brian Rutkiewicz and his wife Kym, Keith Rutkiewicz and his wife Sarah, Stephen Rutkiewicz, and Jay Rutkiewicz and his wife Krystle; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Her son, Paul Rutkiewicz, predeceased her in 2003, and she also was the last of her siblings, Myrtle, Pearl, Reba, Jean, Selma, Lucille and brothers James and Bruner.
Helen was born Oct. 19, 1921 in Angier, N.C., daughter of the late Nancy (Matthews) and Clem W. Flowers. Her North Carolina roots were a source of tremendous pride for Helen throughout her life. She met her husband Ben while working at Fort Bragg, N.C., married in 1943, and relocated to Massachusetts where they raised their family.
Growing up on a farm as one of nine siblings Helen was instilled with a fierce work ethic very early in life. She attended Salter Secretarial School and worked for many years at Worcester Toy and Dapol Plastics as an Executive Secretary in Massachusetts. She had gifted hands, creating beautiful pieces in crochet and quilting, and was an accomplished bowler often topping her husband Ben’s scores much to his chagrin. Those who knew Helen well will recall finding her completing crossword puzzles or finishing a favorite book as she was a voracious reader.
She will be warmly remembered for the poise and independence with which she lived, her warm southern hospitality and as the matriarch of her loving family.
Please honor Helen with a memorial donation in lieu of flowers to Overlook Masonic Health Center, c/o Business Office, PO Box 1000, Charlton, MA 01507.
All are welcome to calling hours for Helen, which will be held Wednesday, Aug. 24, from 5-8 p.m., at Roney Funeral Home, 152 Worcester St., North Grafton. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Aug. 25, at 10 a.m., at St. Mary’s Church, 17 Waterville St., North Grafton. She will then be laid to rest at Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.
To share a memory of Helen or leave a message of sympathy with her family, visit www.RoneyFuneralHome.com.