Obituaries » Helen Reva Stambor
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November 13, 1926 - May 15, 2020
Our dear mother, Helen Reva Miller Stambor, died at age 93 on May 15, 2020. Helen was born November 13, 1926, in Lima, Ohio, to the late Alex and Ida (Bloom) Miller. Helen and her husband, Sam Stambor, were married for 61 years, until his death in 2007. Helen graduated from Lima Central High School in 1944 and attended The Ohio State University. She had a special place in her heart for children and education and participated in projects in the Lima schools. She and her husband traveled extensively throughout the world, always bringing back memorable gifts for family and friends. For 18 years, Helen was a valued volunteer in St. Rita’s Patient Pride program. She was an avid reader and long-time member of the Friends of the Library. She enjoyed playing bridge as a member of the Lima Duplicate Bridge Club. Helen was a lifetime member of Temple Beth Israel-Shaare-Zedek and served as president of the Women’s Hadassah B’nai B’rith for eight years. Many will remember her extraordinary and heartfelt participation in so many community charitable activities. Helen was adored by her family and seemingly endless number of friends. She is survived by three children: Howard Stambor of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Daniel (Janine Gross) Stambor of Seattle, Washington, and Linda (Ruedi) Bolzern of Bern, Switzerland; four grandchildren, Alexander Stambor, Olivia Stambor, Adam Stambor, Benjamin Bolzern and his daughter who was named after Helen; many dear nieces and nephews, and her long-time friend and companion, Carrie Ramsey. She is preceded in death by an infant daughter, Alexa Nan Stambor, two brothers, Bernard Miller, and Dr. Franklin Miller, two sisters, Sara Berk and Betty Beck. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Helen Stambor to: Changing Seasons c/o Maha Zehery, 136 S. West St., Lima, Ohio 45801 or Samaritan House, 328, W. McKibben St., Lima, Ohio 45801. CHILES-LAMAN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Things do not always go the way we wanted. As Helen’s health deteriorated and it became clear that this day was coming, I had anticipated looking out over a multitude of friends and family who had come to pay their respects to this amazing woman. I had anticipated TALKING with all the people whose lives Helen had touched, and whose lives had touched Helen. Sadly, with the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need for social distancing, I am limited to WRITING and ZOOMING about Helen. I hope you all can forgive the absence of personal interaction that would otherwise be present were I to give a traditional eulogy.
As I think about all the friends, family, and well-wishers, who in their own ways, and by virtue of reading or hearing this, demonstrate that they wish to pay their respects to my mother, Helen, and to show support for our family, I have to think about eulogies and what is usually said (or in this case, written and ZOOM’ed) at a time like this . . .
I could write and ZOOM at length about what a wonderful, loving, and caring mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother, and great grandmother Helen was, but you already know that.
I could write and ZOOM at length about what a caring, reliable, and loyal friend she has been to so many of you who are now reading and hearing this, but you already know that.
I could write and ZOOM at length about how proud she has been of her four children (one of whom died in infancy), four grandchildren, and brand-new great-grand daughter, but I’m sure you already know that.
I could write and ZOOM at length about her sincere devotion to her Synagogue, Temple, and Jewish organizations, but you already know that. However, you might not know how much she loved making the Temple’s Super Bowl Sunday corned beef sack lunches. Well, now you do. You also should know that a restaurant in Seattle, ironically named Porkchop, has named a very special pastrami sandwich for her. Yes, it is called “The Helen.”
I could write and ZOOM at length about her devotion to charities and her volunteer work at St. Rita’s that continued until she was 92 years old, but you already know that.
I could write and ZOOM at length about her dedication to her deeply held political beliefs, but you already know that.
I guess I have already written and ZOOM’ed at length about Mom, but it is hard not to when you are writing and ZOOM’ing about Helen. Nonetheless, I am not finished. So, what should I really be writing and ZOOM’ing about?
It’s really quite simple. I should write and ZOOM about what Mom would want me to write and ZOOM about, and that’s you.
Mom would want each and every one of you to know that she has loved you, and would want you to know how much she has appreciated all the things, large and small, that you have done for her over the years that have made it possible for her to live in her own home and to continue to be an active participant in all those things that have been important to her: family, friends, Jewish life, politics (including her Liberals Having Lunch “crowd”), lunches and dinners with friends, social and cultural events with friends (she told me many times that she never turned down an invitation), volunteer work, duplicate bridge, and other things that I am sure I have left off of this list. Mom would want me to be sure you all know how grateful she has been for everything you have done for her, so that she could continue to be a part of the Lima community that she loved.
Mom would want me to be sure that a deep, personal, and sincere thank you is given to each of you for everything you have done for her. So here goes, and if I have left anyone out (and I am sure I have), please forgive me, and know that even if I inadvertently left you off my list, you will never be off Helen’s list: Carrie, Mom’s companion for too many years to count, who has been with her through thick and thin; Marsha, her niece who has made long trips from Idaho to be near Helen and care for her, not to mention being Mom’s tech guru; Mike, her cousin who would always stay in touch and come to Lima to check on her and perform odd jobs and home maintenance, which would otherwise have gone undone; Clarence, who has kept an eye on her and her home for years and was always there to help; Masha, who has been like a daughter to her; Maha, a loyal friend, who has always been unselfish with her time; Connie and Bev, her friends from the Temple, who have done so much to make it possible for her to continue to be an active member of the congregation, and whose concern for her well-being has been boundless; Sally and Dayton, neighbors, who have kept a gentle watch over her; Mary Brunelle, a close friend who has always stayed in contact with her; Bill, who until recently provided rides to the Temple and to many of her social events; Dr. Tremoulis, who has cared for her for decades, and was always available; Ruth, who made it possible for her to continue playing duplicate bridge, one of Mom’s passions, until her health began to fail last year; Sheryl, the head of the volunteer group at St. Rita’s, where Mom was a volunteer until she was 92 years old; Jim, Dale, and Ralph, drivers, who made it possible for her to go to appointments and social gatherings, and made it possible for her family to come from the far corners of the world (Seattle, Switzerland) to spend time with her; her grandson, Ben, who stayed in touch with her despite being half a world away; her grandson, Adam, who doted on her, loved her “hearts and butterflies” cookies (and learned how to make them), and helped care for her as her health declined; and Debbie, whose special bond with her, and whose kindness and devotion, will always be remembered. I know there are many more of you who I should have mentioned, and I apologize for leaving you out. You know who you are, and I know Helen does, too.
So that is what I should write and ZOOM about. This gathering (such as it is, in these times) is about my mother, but it is also about you, about community, about caring about and respecting each other. It is about a sense of common humanity, and about lending a hand when one is needed.
Mom would want to thank each of you personally for all you have done for her.
That is what I should write and Zoom about.
Howard, Linda, and I thank you all for everything you have done for Mom.