"Seeing is believing." For many, those words simply represent a motto. But for Helen Sikora, it summarized in every way who she was. She was modest, quiet and observant, taking in everything around her and always thinking before acting. She was a realist, someone who was efficient and practical in everything she did. She was a friendly person who truly cared about those around her. She was the daughter of Vincent and Mary Buda. Raised in Chicago, IL, she was brought up to be tolerant and trustworthy. As a child, she learned to be conscientious, responsible and punctual. These were all traits...
"Seeing is believing." For many, those words simply represent a motto. But for Helen Sikora, it summarized in every way who she was. She was modest, quiet and observant, taking in everything around her and always thinking before acting. She was a realist, someone who was efficient and practical in everything she did. She was a friendly person who truly cared about those around her.
She was the daughter of Vincent and Mary Buda. Raised in Chicago, IL, she was brought up to be tolerant and trustworthy. As a child, she learned to be conscientious, responsible and punctual. These were all traits that she would carry with her throughout her life.
As a young girl, Helen was always aware of how others around her felt and this quality served her well. With a deep capacity to tolerate the feelings of others, Helen was generally able to avoid conflicts. It seemed as if Helen was the family member who was always working to keep stress at bay. Preferring a quiet environment where she could concentrate, Helen also had the ability to relate well with her family and friends. Helen was raised with 6 siblings. She had 5 sisters, Anne, Pat, Stephanie, Estelle, Bernice, and 1 brother, Edwin. Helen was constantly involved in activities with her family. Helen and her siblings had the typical rivalries while growing up but they deeply cared for each other and shared many life experiences over the years.
Most folks would say that Helen was shy until they got to know her. Those who were privileged to know her well learned that she was a solid, good friend. Helen was reluctant to generalize about people, and she based her friendships on her personal experiences. Because of this, Helen best trusted those people that she truly knew. She was concerned about how those around her felt, and she always seemed to uncover the positive side of people. She could relate to others and had the ability to see their point of view, to "walk a mile in their shoes," as the saying goes. The friends that she made, Helen kept. Later in life, she became friends with Dominick and Marsha Santoro and June Dobbs.
Love can't be defined but must be experienced. That was so true for Helen. On February 25, 1944 Helen married Albert John Sikora at the Marriage Commissioner of Norfolk, VA. She was totally committed to Albert and maintained traditional ideals about marriage. It was as if Helen naturally sensed her spouse's needs, and accepted those feelings unconditionally. Although Helen disliked conflict, she did not take flight from discord, but rather sought to preserve harmony even during the most trying times.
Helen was a good mother to her children. She had "old fashioned" parental values and could handle typical family conflicts in a fair and calm manner. Because she trusted emotions, Helen was reluctant to force issues and used gentle persuasion to resolve situations. In this way she seemed to radiate an aura of warmth and caring to those around her, always thinking before acting. In addition, Helen was a master planner. No matter how hectic life around her might be, she seemed to know and track everyone's schedule. Helen was blessed with 3 children, however one daughter died at birth. She has a daughter, Karen and son, Kevin. They were also blessed with 6 grandchildren, Karie, Kelli, Michael, Scott, Angie, and Kenny.
If you gave Helen a deadline, she would meet it. At work, Helen was always on task. Without hesitation, Helen could adhere to any assignment and see it through to its completion. Her primary occupation was solderer. She was employed for many years by Hobson brothers. During that time, Helen excelled in working with small groups in order to complete assignments. She was able to quickly grasp concrete ideas and could organize and plan the best way to accomplish things with remarkable consistency. Helen was good at staying on track and was considerate in listening to what others had to say. In this way, Helen had at true gift for being able to come up with practical resolutions to difficult problems. She was often the team member who managed to put forth a win/win solution for all parties.
Helen liked to experience things first hand, in addition to simply learning about them. This quality influenced Helen's choice of leisure time activities. A methodical and patient worker, Helen preferred to set aside uninterrupted time to work on her hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were crossword puzzles. Helen was content to sit quietly alone, enjoying her hobbies all by herself and could often be found just reading .
While thorough and measured in her approach to things, Helen often liked to physically do things rather than just think about them. She was like that with sports. Recreational sports that she enjoyed included bowling. She also enjoyed the statistical data and the facts behind the sports. In this way, she was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching her favorite teams whenever she got the opportunity. Tops on her list were baseball , especially the Chicago Cubs .
Anyone who traveled or went on vacation with Helen had smooth sailing. It was often taken for granted that she was the trip planner. She would start early and examine all of the possibilities, selecting the best and most effective options. Favorite vacations included going to California to see Ellen Degeneres.
Helen had Slim, a Rat Terrier dog, who was her best friend for 9 years. Helen was as loyal to her pets as they were to her.
When Helen's retirement finally arrived in 1988, she was well prepared. She had taken the time to learn about her various options and chose her course wisely. Her new life involved relocating to Zion, IL several years after her retirement. In retirement, she found new pleasure in working in the yard and interacting with the grandkids. Even in retirement, Helen continued to stay in touch with her old friends while making plenty of new acquaintances. She was active in the community and felt fulfilled with the opportunities retirement offered her.
Helen passed away on November 9, 2009 at her daughter, Karen Toronyi's home in Glen Ellyn. She died peacefully while she slept at 87 years old. She is survived by her children, Karen and Kevin; her grandchildren, Karie, Kelli, Michael, Scott, Angie, and Kenny; great grandchildren Eric, Tagnier, Tyler, Morgan, Olivia, Elise, Ava, and Jaina. Services were held at St. Petronille Catholic Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Helen was laid to rest in St. Adalbert's Cemetery in Niles, Illinois.
It is said that some people can't see the forest for the trees. Helen was able to focus on each individual tree, tending to its needs, thus making the forest stronger as a whole. Helen was a trustworthy, pragmatic and sympathetic person, the kind of woman to whom everyone was drawn. She was thorough and practical. Helen Sikora was very literal with her words. You always knew where you stood with Helen. She will be missed.