Helen Dameski Bonzagni passed away in her home on December 24, 2022, surrounded by her loving family at age 92. Helen is survived by her three children Suzanne Leon of Natick, Elizabeth DeLuca of Dover, and Andrew Bonzagni of Concord, two sons-in-law, Paul Leon and James DeLuca, as well as eight grandchildren and many lifelong friends.
Born in 1930 in Hackensack, New Jersey, Helen grew up with her mother Anna Dameski, and older brother Chester. She spent summers on her aunt’s farm and at home, learning life lessons from Anna, her hardworking, single mother who immigrated from Poland. Helen was adored by her classmates and after high school, began work in New York City alongside some of her life-long, childhood friends.
Although she was a busy, working woman, she also loved to travel. During a road trip back from Cape Cod, Helen and her companions got lost and decided to stay the night at a highway-side motel. It was there, in the parking lot of the Colonial Motel in Johnston, Rhode Island, that she met her husband, Arthur Bonzagni of Wellesley. Arthur was immediately smitten with Helen and after chatting for some time, he convinced her to go for a drive with him; however, Helen was a dignified and intelligent young woman and only allowed this stranger to drive circles around the parking lot. That drive led to years of letter writing, and some visits, until the two were married in 1956.
After the wedding, Arthur left to serve in the Army. He returned two years later, and the couple moved into their first home in Westwood, Mass where they welcomed their three children in the following years. In 1966, the family relocated to Pembroke Road in Wellesley. Helen’s love for travel continued and, with Arthur, she would go on to visit many countries throughout their marriage. Unfortunately, Arthur passed away from lung cancer in 1975. As a single mother, Helen’s strong and independent nature began to really shine. She started working again, in the nurses’ office at Wellesley Middle School. Her new co-workers became her future travel buddies, card-playing pals, and a part of her close-knit cohort of life-long companions.
In the years that followed, she became a proud grandmother and spent endless hours cheering her grandchildren on in hockey rinks, soccer fields, baseball diamonds, and in every other sport they tried out. She helped out her daughters and was often seen carting a grandchild off to an after-school activity in her old blue BMW. She continued to travel, now with her closest girlfriends, taking trips to Europe, Australia, and the former Soviet Union.
Helen was adventurous yet poised, a proper lady with a sense of humor that could bring a smile to anyone's face. But, she was also a simple and straightforward person. For the past 70 years, her snow white hair, once dirty blonde, was fashioned in a tidy French twist every single day. She loved to cook from scratch and bake, as long as the recipe fell into the category of either chocolate, bread, or cookies. She loved her cats, as well as most of the other animals her children brought home over the years. Helen was an incredibly selfless, loving, and strong woman with a kind heart and a magnetic personality. She will be greatly missed.
Visiting hours will be held at the John Everett & Sons Funeral Home 4 Park Street Natick Common on Friday, December 30 at 10 am, followed by a memorial ceremony at 11:00 am. The burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Mrs. Bonzagni to Medfield Animal Shelter or The Good Shepherd Community Care.
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