Helen Totin, age 88 of Port Vue, died peacefully Thursday, April 10, 2019, at her home, where she lived her entire life. Helen was the youngest of nine siblings born to Wasil and Julia (Gocza) Totin on December 4, 1930 and lived an active life growing up with her two sisters, Marge and Anne and six brothers, Russell, John, George, Mike, Pete and Albert all of which predeceased her as well as one niece, Terri Anne Gibney.
Helen was the first family member to obtain a college degree and followed her passion to become a teacher after graduation from Slippery Rock University. She taught in the McKeesport school district for almost 40 years and was known as an excellent instructor and mentor to numerous students. Helen was a member of the Holy Virgin Dormition Russian Orthodox Church of McKeesport and supported the church energetically, not only as a devoted member, but serving on the leadership board for many years and helping the Church fulfill numerous projects and accomplishments including the building of a new Church. After her retirement from teaching, Helen thoroughly enjoyed her hobbies as well as being the main caretaker for her mother Julia. She was an avid golfer, loved gardening, including her backyard grape vineyard from which she would make wine as well as many other foods originating from her garden. Helen is survived by nieces and nephews, Violet M. Putschko (Jim), of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., Peter V. Totin (Margaret), of Seneca, S.C.; Mark Totin of Detroit MI, Michael Totin (Lisa) of New Jersey, Marina (Tom), of Baltimore Maryland; Julie Schweitzer (David)) of White Oak, Helene Schaming (Drew) of Port Vue, David Totin, Donna Maley of Westerly RI and Susan (Peter) Bennett of East Greenwich RI. Friends will be received in the Daniel F. Bekavac Funeral Home and Crematory, 4504 Walnut St., Versailles Borough, McKeesport, PA 15132 (412-678-3454) on Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1-4 PM and 6-8 PM with a 3 PM Panachida Service. A Burial Service will be held on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 1 PM in Our Lady Russian Orthodox Russian Orthodox Church with Fr. Dmitri Ermakov officiating. Burial and procession will follow to McKeesport and Versailles Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Holy Virgin Dormition Russian Orthodox Church, 330 Shaw Ave., McKeesport, PA 15132. www.bekavacfuneralhome.com
Originally published April 12, 2019.