Helen's Story

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Helen Smith Dennin died peacefully at her home in Lake Placid, N.Y., on May 19, 2017. Helen was born Aug. 1, 1923, in Rome, N.Y., the daughter of Michael and Margaret Smith. During her early years, Helen enjoyed a simple and happy life in Rome with her close-knit Irish family and group of friends fondly known as "Busy Girls Brigade." Helen attended Rome Free Academy and The Utica School of Commerce. She then relocated to Lake Placid, working at the Lake Placid Club's rehabilitation center for post World War II troops, boarding with Frederick and Ruth Dennin. It was a jubilant time in America that proved to be particularly joyful for Helen as she met Frederick Dennin, the son of her hosts, upon his return home from World War II service. Fred and Helen married on June 1, 1946, at St. Peter's Church in Rome, N.Y., starting a beautiful relationship that lasted over 67 years until Fred died in June 2013. Following time in Albany and New York City, she and Fred moved to Lake Placid, commencing a long and storied period of dedication to community, friends, family and one another.
Helen assisted with her husband's law office, was an officer of The Lake Placid Garden Club, a member of The Catholic Daughters Society, volunteer at the Uihlein Mercy Center and a member of the Placid Memorial Hospital board. She was an active parishioner at St. Agnes church, embracing her Catholic and Irish heritage, and she was instrumental in the establishment of St. Agnes School. Helen enjoyed tennis, cross country skiing, and bridge. She took delight in entertaining and sharing her home with family and friends, swimming and boating on her beloved Lake Placid and traveling. In later years, Helen and Fred spent winters in Fort Pierce, Fla., where Helen embraced new friendships while maintaining the old. In her final years, her wonderful caregivers, Monaca and Jeannie, and family cared for her, allowing her to remain in her beloved home and welcome friends until her final days.
Helen is survived by her five children, Terence Dennin of Keeseville, Kathleen Dennin of Yonkers, Stephen Dennin (Anne) of New York City, Gregory Dennin (Peggy) of Lake Placid and Richard Dennin (Michelle) of Framingham, Mass.; seven grandchildren, Lily and Michael Garcia; James Frederick Dennin; Emily, Maggie and Sean Dennin and Conor Dennin; and several nieces and nephews. Her husband, Frederick Dennin, and her sisters, Margaret Smith and Catherine Turner, predeceased her.
Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, at the Clark Funeral Home. A mass of Christian burial will held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24, at St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid with Rev. John Yonkovig and Rev Paul Whitmore officiating. A reception will follow at the Crowne Plaza Resort. Her burial will take place this summer at St. Agnes Cemetery at a date to be announced.
The family thanks countless friends in her extended community who comforted Helen in her later years giving back to her as she so naturally did for others.
The family suggests donations in Helen's name be made to The Lake Placid Garden Club fund at Adirondack Foundation or St. Agnes School.
Relatives and friends are invited to share a memory, order flowers or leave condolences at www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com.
Published on May 22, 2017
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