Heleyn Ann Smela (Poplunkowsi),
of Minneapolis, MN passed away peacefully on August 26, 2020. She was 85 years of age.
Heleyn leaves behind her beloved husband Joseph “Joe” George Smela of 60 years .
She was the daughter of the late Joseph Poplunkowski and Mildred Eijko.
She was born and raised in Irvington, NJ attending both Catholic and public schools in the community. She graduated Irvington High School in 1953. Upon graduation, she began employment at New Jersey Bell and during that time, she was married to her husband Joe in 1959 and relocated to Hillside, NJ. She remained at NJ Bell for several years until she left the work force to be a stay at home mom.
Heleyn lived in Hillside, NJ for many years with her husband and children. She made lifelong friends in the community.
During the time she lived in Hillside, NJ, she volunteered for countless school and civic organizations including PTA, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts, Band Parents Association, and Little League. She held leadership positions in a few of these organizations. She was a frequent parent chaperone on school related trips.
In her spare hours, she enjoyed RV ownership and traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada. She was an avid baker and enjoyed needle craft.
When her children were older, she returned to the work force and worked for several private sector companies in the Hillside/Elizabeth, NJ area specializing in accounts payable and receivable.
Upon her retirement from industry, Helen retired with her husband Joe to the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. During their retirement, she and her husband were members of the Seniors Group of St. Ignatius, Sinking Spring, PA. She served as treasurer for the group for many years.
She and her husband enjoyed attending local craft fairs and ethnic festivals. Heleyn was also an aficionado of Polish culture and attended many Polish American festivals in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Heleyn and her husband Joe were frequent farm stand patrons and enjoyed “farm to table” produce from the Mennonite and Amish communities.
In May 2018, Heleyn and her husband Joe moved into assisted living at Minnehaha Senior Living, Minneapolis, MN to be closer to her son Stephen and his wife and family. She made several new friendships at the facility.
Funeral service will be held 10:30 AM, Friday, September 11, 2020 at Henry W. Anderson Mortuary with visitation one hour before service.