Helen J. Manista (nee Walker)
With sad hearts we announce the passing of our Mother at home on December 14, 2023. Mom was born in Batavia, New York, and was predeceased by her loving husband of 69 years, Stephen L. Manista; her parents, Helen and Joseph Walker; and her brothers Joseph, Lawrence and George (Marie).
Life for Mom was successful and fulfilling. Mom worked at her and Dad’s business (Your Signmaker) for many years. When they sold the business, Mom (and Dad) joined forces and invested in real estate in Wilmington and Bethany Beach. In Wilmington, we as a family, renovated and rented many homes and sets of garages. After two flips in Bethany, they built the “Big House” where our family settled. Mom worked tirelessly sewing bed spreads and matching curtains for the house. She loved fishing and crabbing off her pontoon boat - which Dad was occasionally allowed to drive. She didn’t eat fish unless it came directly off her boat!
We did quite a bit of traveling while in our younger years. Mom (and Dad) spent time following her children’s sports and roller-skating events. She made Pam’s outfits in the morning and after school they were ready to wear for practice; Steve’s suits were made for specific meets. Our parents traveled with us to skating events from local, to regionals and nationals around the country. Traveling was Mom’s thing. She never second guessed going on the road with us. To name a few, she took us to New York to visit the Walker clan in Batavia, Niagara Falls, and Heart Island (Boldt Castle) in the 1000 Islands; fishing excursion; and to several National Guard camps when Dad was on his 2-week training exercise.
As time went on, if not at the beach, Mom (and Dad) spent free time following their grandchildren’s interests. They could be seen at local baseball and football fields, basketball courts in many states around the country, dance recitals at the Everett Theatre, and music recitals at the School of Rock or Zombie Bait at the Oddity Bar.
Suffice it to say, Mom was the matriarch of our family. She held all of us together and kept us in line. Left to cherish her memory are her children, Pam and Steve (Donna); her grandchildren, Jeffrey (Ally), Stephen and Lauren; her great grandchildren, Jack and Sonny; and many nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank the doctors and nurses from Vitas Hospice for the compassionate care they provided Mom.
A Gathering will be held on January 18, 2024 from 10:30-11:30 AM at McCrery & Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19808. Immediately following, a short memorial service will be held at the Delaware Veterans’ Cemetery in Bear. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Mom’s name to The Fisher House, c/o MSgt. Kayla Hemmesch, 116 Purple Heart Drive, Dover AFB, DE 19902.