Mary E. ‘Helena’ O’Reilly passed away at home on November 16, 2022.
Helena lived a life of accomplishment, charity, curiosity and generosity. She will be dearly missed by her friends and family.
Helena was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Throughout the course of her life, Helena maintained a connection to Toronto and the surrounding area through frequent visits, often accompanied by her mother. Helena loved the energy of Toronto, navigating the city like a local, and she seized any opportunity to enjoy the cultural and bohemian elements of Toronto. Additionally, Helena also enjoyed her many travels to Prince Edward Island, where she indulged her love of seafood, the sea, and time with family.
Because of the tenacity of her mother and father, the family also lived in Birmingham, England. Helena loved her time in England. As a result, she also seized opportunities to travel to England as an adult. She recently had reestablished relationships with two aunties and several cousins in England. At the time of her passing, Helena had already booked passage back to England for 2023. Helena was always looking forward to something.
After the family settled in the United States, Helena proudly graduated from Eisenhower College (a National Monument to Dwight D. Eisenhower) in Seneca Falls, NY where she majored in both Biology and Psychology. Additionally, Helena immersed herself in the college’s World Studies Program. Helena credited this program for lighting her lifelong love of reading and study. It was also at Eisenhower that Helena met her best friend, Evie Sukala.
Not long after Eishenhower, and a final move to Connecticut, Helena graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Master of Business Administration degree. Helena used her ‘dance tickets’ to launch a long career as a Commercial Banker. It was in her professional life that Helena met and maintained a treasured friendship with Cristina Apuzzo. Helena valued her time in the company of Cristina and her husband, Bob Apuzzo.
Helena had only recently retired, and was indulging her contagious loves of reading, classic movies, music, lunches with friends, travel and mini-adventures. Helena forever sought to enjoy the ‘craic’ and found it everywhere.
Helena’s ashes will be spread at the most beautiful beach in the world, Rossnowlagh, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland. Helena proudly identified as an Irish Woman and enjoyed frequent travel to Ireland. She will rejoin her beloved mother and father, John and Kathleen O’Reilly, in eternal rest.
Helena is survived by her sister Erin and two brothers, Sean and Liam. She also leaves behind her nieces and a nephew, her aunties and several cousins. Helena will also be dearly missed by her sister-in-law Kathy and the Maslona family.
“There will be no tears!”, she insisted. Sadly, we can no longer keep that promise now that she has passed. I suppose one day, it’ll be a little easier. While Helena never ‘made waves’, she did make many ripples. We’re going to miss watching her making those ripples by always doing the right thing, and always looking ahead.
In the spirit of giving, and in lieu of flowers, we encourage you to make memorial donations in honor of Helena to the charity of your choice.