Helen Lavelle, 92, formerly of Monarch Circle, Naples, Florida and East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, died on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at Naples Community Hospital.
Born in Springfield, MA on November 16, 1928, daughter of Peter and Eftyhia Vatousiou, she was a 1946 graduate of Commerce High School. She attended the School of Practical Art in Boston obtaining a certificate in advertising and design in 1950. She graduated in 1955 from Springfield College with a bachelor of science degree in education.
Mrs. Lavelle was an elementary school teacher, teaching in the West Springfield school district from 1954 to 1990. In the 1950’s, she worked for the City of Springfield in the Parks Department as an Arts and Crafts assistant.
She attended Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples, FL and had been a communicant of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke in East Longmeadow, MA prior to moving to Naples in 1997.
Mrs. Lavelle had many hobbies including tennis, walking, skiing, reading and painting. She was a member of the Sand Dollars of Naples, the Walking Club of Naples, and the Alpha Beta Kappa sorority. She participated in the Senior Olympics in both MA and FL. In 2001, she competed in the National Senior Olympics in Baton Rouge, LA and in a marathon race/walk in Dublin, Ireland. She started the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Support Group in Naples in 1999.
Her husband, John M. Lavelle, whom she married on June 23, 1963, at Holy Cross Church in Holyoke, MA and St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Springfield, MA passed on January 11, 1999.
She was predeceased by her brothers, Michael Vickers, Harry P. Vatousiou, and her sister, Lillian V. Smith. She is survived by her nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 from 9 to 10AM at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home, 220 N. Main Street, East Longmeadow. Funeral service will follow at 11AM at Greek Orthodox Church of St. Luke, 400 Prospect Street, East Longmeadow, MA with interment following at Hillcrest Park Cemetery, Springfield, MA. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Helen’s name may be made to CurePCP, www.curepsp.org or Springfield College, www.springfield.edu. To leave a message of personal condolence or for more information, visit www.forastiere.com.