Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Helen Graykoski

IRONWOOD, Mich. - Helen Graykoski was born on Aug. 26, 1921, to Bruno and Romanda (Kowalkoski) Sobolewski on the family farm in North Ironwood, Michigan. Her birth was attended by the midwife, Mrs. Lee Lindquist.

Helen died on March 17, 2023, in her apartment at Dove Assisted Living in Barron, Wisconsin, lovingly attended to by Dove's staff, the Barron County A.R.D.C. care staff, and Mayo Clinic Hospice. She attained one hundred-one years, six months, and twenty-two days of life.

She was united in marriage to Felix J. Graykoski on June 12, 1943, with Catholic Chaplain Father George Schumacker officiating. The marriage took place at the 376th Infantry Chapel in Camp Phillips, Kansas, with Donald and Juanita Bonacci witnessing. After the war, they made their home in Ironwood, and Aurora, Minnesota. On Sept. 9, 1949, their only son, John, was born.

Helen operated Helens' Eat Shop in Ironwood in the 1940s.

She was active in the community and the church. She was the first Cub Scout den mother at the

Newport School. She was involved in the Newport School Parent-Teacher Association. She presided over the Altar Society at St. Michael's Catholic Church and went on to serve on the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

She was, with her husband, and others, a founding member of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference at St.

Michael's. She opened and managed the first St. Vincent de Paul store in Ironwood for 18 years. She served as president of the conference. She and others worked diligently to fulfill the Vincentian mission of helping those in need. In 1995, she was presented with the Ozanam Medallion by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul for "her contribution of an outstanding nature and exemplary service" to the society. She also received the "Top Hat" award for her leadership in the organization.

Felix preceded her in death at age 84 on Nov. 22, 1997.

She survived all her siblings, including Stella Brady, Josephine Makinen (Reino), and brothers, John

(Evelyn), Steve (Madelyn), Jerry, Anthony (Millie), Lawrence (Judy), and three infant brothers.

She is survived by her son, John (Christopher); special "guardian angel" Glen Edberg; and numerous nieces; and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Ironwood, on Saturday, Aug. 5,

at 11 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection will be concelebrated by Father Brian Gerber, pastor and

Father Ed Fassett, S.J., a close friend of the family. A luncheon will be provided by Rigoni's Catering in

the church basement following Mass. Her cremated remains will be placed in a handmade wooden

urn made by the Trappist Monks of New Melleray Abbey, Peosta, Iowa.

A private burial in the family plot will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Ironwood at a later date.

The family has chosen McKevitt-Patrick Funeral Home of Ironwood to honor Helen's legacy of life.