Helena C. Zielinski November 22, 1926 - January 14, 2022

Helena was born in Poland, the second eldest of four sisters, to Aniela (Radziewicz) and Feliks Kaftan. They lived on a settlement called Osada Janówka near the town of Dubno (now part of Ukraine) where they farmed and raised horses. During World War II, invading Russian troops deported them (and a million other Poles) to labor camps. The Kaftan family was sent to Arkhangelsk on February 10, 1940; Helena was 13 years old. Later, when Germany turned against the Russians, the Polish prisoners were set free to join the war effort. The family moved through Central Asia to Tehran, Iran (where her eldest sister, Zenobia, died) and was transported to a refugee camp in Kolhapur, India where they lived for several years. After the war, Helena and her mom went to England where, with the help of the Red Cross, they were reunited with their father/husband. Her younger two sisters, Wanda and Jean, travelled from India to stay with family in New York. Helena met and married Jozef Zielinski in London and shortly afterwards had a son, Christopher. They immigrated to the United States in 1955, reuniting with her parents and sisters in Flushing, NY where their younger son, John, was born. The sisters and their families lived within a few blocks of each other for the next 50+ years. Like her sisters, Helena became a watchmaker for Bulova. Besides her love of family, Helena loved gardening well into her nineties. Helena is survived by her son, John, and his wife, Julie, their children, Nicholas and Adam, as well as Chris’ wife, Cathy, and their children, Michael and Maggie, and one great-granddaughter, Teresa. She was predeceased by her husband, Jozef, and son, Chris. Services: Mass of Christian Burial, 10:30 AM Friday in St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 1879 Applewood Dr. Orefield. Call 7 – 8:30 PM Thursday at STEPHENS FUNERAL HOME, INC. 274 N. Krocks Rd. Allentown. The interment will be in Mt. S.t Mary’s Cemetery, Flushing, at a later date. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to any hospice organization or charity of your choice.

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