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Helen Josephine Kossajda

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“I am so sorry about the passing of Helen. She was a lifelong friend of my Aunt Wanda who also worked at Burroughs. Helen and I were in contact when...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Kathy Schemanski - MI


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Helen Josephine Kossajda, age 95 of Farmington, died Saturday, March 31, 2018 at the Arden Court Assisted Living Center in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She was born November 30, 1922 in Mansfield Township, New Jersey, daughter of the late Konstanty and the late Kazimiera (nee: Kaszuba) Grudzinski.

When contemplating the phrase, "True Grit,"…perhaps many of our minds would turn to the iconic actor, John Wayne in what was one of his most memorable roles. But the Duke had nothin' on Helen as grit and determination were her constant source of strength, even from a young age. For some of us, responsibility and discipline come early in life as it certainly did for Helen. Therefore it was no surprise when she landed her first job as a salesperson behind the candy counter at the theater in Royal Oak. She was a mere 15 years old at the time, but possessed a wisdom and drive that were far beyond her years. Helen's was a warm and smiling face that made everyone's movie-going experience a happier one,…and it is there that she began to hone her people skills that were soon to light a path to bigger and better milestones in her working career.

Helen's early steps in the employment realm eventually turned into larger steps that led her to the doors of the Burroughs Company, and a career that would span a great many years. As she worked her way up the ladder of success, Helen was most proud of the ultimate advancement awarded her as an Executive Secretary for the firm. Possessing polished skills, hard work ethics, and a drive that never waned, Helen became an integral part of the company's daily operations and provided a genuine sense of support that was often the wind beneath the wings of the managerial team. Following 36 years of loyal and dedicated service, Helen finally accepted her well-deserved retirement and began a new chapter in life away from the job.

Now somewhere in there, Love Happened,…and his name was Richard, known more affectionately to some as Rex. Their meeting would turn to friendship, friendship transitioned to love, and that love found them sharing their wedding vows and embarking on a journey together as husband & wife that spanned some 50 plus years until Richard's passing. They enjoyed a half century of growing in love together and making those lasting memories that warmed their hearts with each remembrance,

This little Bio would be remiss if not for mentioning some of the things that helped to balance this hard working woman life, the things that made all that working worth the effort. Towards the top of that list would definitely have to be her passion for the game of BINGO, and how Helen loved gathering with all of her fellow gamers in this age old test of patience and extreme anticipation. She lived for those precious moments when her card afforded her the opportunity of screaming out, LOUD & PROUD, that the victory was hers! The gaming itch took another form for Helen through "playing the numbers,"…a gambling itch that Helen scratched each and every day, faithfully. Even when challenges compromised her ability to feed her hunger, Helen's industrious character always managed to secure the assistance of someone to help her play those numbers.

Though some of her other pastimes involved a bit of work, this time it was in creating beautiful pieces through the skills she possessed in knitting, crocheting, and a bit of crewel & embroidery work here and there. Whichever form it took, Helen's handiwork was always something to behold, and was often a piece she created with love for somebody special in her life. Helen has several family members who have been the grateful benefactors of her talents,…and many laps are warmed, today, by the afghans she so painstakingly wove together with care. Helen also possessed a unique and genuine love of the arts and had an eye for certain works that turned her head. With an artistic flair that emanated ever-so-softly from this gifted lady, she held an appreciation for art that ran deep and wide.

Truly a "Woman of Conviction,"…Helen was the kind of person who never minced her words. You never had to guess where she stood or why she took that stance,…her convictions always seemed to steer her in the right direction. From a young age, Helen had managed adversity, coped with life's challenges like a champion, and rose above it all with a stamina and fortitude built upon the cornerstones of strength and wisdom. Helen truly lived out the old adage; "what doesn't kill ya only makes ya stronger!" And through it all came a woman who possessed the leadership abilities that reaped their rewards as Helen forged her path in life.

But for as strong as she was, Helen was also quite a softie on occasion,…especially when it came to the children that surrounded her life. Not being able to have children of her own, God took her passion and helped her pour it out, vicariously, amongst the many great nieces and nephews in whose company she enjoyed immensely. Helen was immeasurably devoted to her family and found great pleasure in making each moment count, and poured her heart and soul into helping create those cherished memories that would transcend time. A loving wife, sister and aunt, Helen leaves a legacy of love for all to embrace with each reflection shared. She touched many lives along the way and imparted an influence that was both infectious and invigorating. They broke the mold when Helen came along, yet her strength continues to mold the lives of others in a unique and special way. She worked hard all of her life,…may she, now, rest in peace,…safe in the arms of God.

Helen was the beloved wife of the late Richard. Dearest sister of Daniel (Pat) Grudzinski, and preceded in death by siblings; Tadeusz Grange, Marion Grange, Halina Mackie, and Jean Utecht. She is also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

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