Helen Zankowsky (Nee Grabowski) passed away peacefully on May 9, 2023, at the age of 95. Born in Wilmington. DE, Helen was one of six children. She grew up in the Polish community of Wilmington where her family were active members of St. Hedwig’s Parish. Helen was a devout Catholic her entire life and a member of Holy Rosary Parish since 1956. Growing up she enjoyed spending time with family and friends and always looked forward to family vacations which were usually spent at White Crystal Beach, Md. She also developed a love for cooking – which she got from her mother. Later in life her grandson turned her into a NASCAR fan. Her favorite driver was Jimmie Johnson.
Helen was not one to stay home, she worked outside the home for most of her life, starting in high school at Whelan’s Drug Store. After graduation she went to work for Synvar Corp in the bookkeeping/accounting dept., from there she worked at Krueger Brewery until it closed locally and then on to Continental Can Co. She worked there until her only child, Michael, came along in 1960. Once he started school, she went back to work in the home heating oil delivery business for Goldsteins which became Diamond Fuel Oil, finally finishing her career with Sid Stein Fuels.
Helen met her husband, Milton Zankowsky at Riverview Beach in 1946; they married in 1947 and were married nearly 75 years before Milton passed away in 2022. Everyone in the presence of Helen and Milt could not help but recognize the special connection they had. She and Milt enjoyed time with their many friends at various social gatherings and dances. Later, after Michael was born, they enjoyed many summers at the beach where Helen perfected her culinary skills, preparing whatever it was that Milt and Michael caught, from fish to clams and crabs. Helen greeted everyone with a smile and a warm welcome. She had a sincere circle of friends and family that she stayed connected with.
In retirement Helen enjoyed traveling, cooking, and above all her two grandchildren Brian and Gregory. Growing up, the boys spent many hours with Helen and Milton helping in the yard/garden, sharing school learnings and playing board/card games. Helen also passed on her love for the holidays, especially Christmas, to her grandchildren. Many hours were spent helping to decorate the house for the holidays; Brian and Gregory still say their best meals were Baci’s Christmas Eve dinners.
Helen is predeceased by her husband, Milton, parents and siblings. She is survived by her son, Michael, daughter-in-law, Linda and her grandsons Brian and Gregory.
A visitation (10:00 AM) and Mass of Christian Burial (11:00 AM) will be held at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, 3200 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont, DE 19703, on Friday, June 9, 2023. Interment will take place at Delaware Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Holy Rosary Catholic Church.