Helen Christ Arvanitis, 95, of Danbury, Connecticut, passed away on August 15, 2021.
She was born on October 13, 1925, in Sunnyside, Queens, New York. The child of Greek immigrants, Nicholas and Angelina Christopoulos, Helen was the second of four daughters and a first-generation American. Her parents relocated the family to Boston, Massachusetts, and then Harlem, New York, before finally settling back down in Queens, where Helen would spend the majority of her life.
Helen studied history at Hunter College, where she took her baccalaureate in 1947; she would later also earn a Master’s in history from Columbia University.
Education was one of the greatest passions of her life: Helen went on to teach at the middle school level at the Greek American Institute and in the public school system in Harlem, then later taught 5th grade at PS5 and PS17 in Astoria, Queens.
Shortly after beginning her career, Helen met her future husband, the love of her life, and her devoted partner of 63 years: Ernest “Ernie” Arvanitis. The couple married in 1951 and had two children together: Robert and Allison. Once her children were older, Helen returned to teaching; she deftly managed the responsibilities of her family and her career while at the same time maintaining an extremely active social calendar, hosting a steady stream of family, friends, and colleagues in her home in Astoria.
Following her retirement in 1990, Helen settled into the role of doting grandmother, where she helped to raise her four grandchildren. She also indulged in her favorite hobbies of reading, traveling, ballet, and, most of all, talking - Helen was never happier than when she could learn the full life story of a new acquaintance.
Though she experienced physical infirmities as she grew older, she never lost her zest or enthusiasm for life.
Helen is predeceased by her parents, Nicholas and Angelina, sisters, Constance, Amelia, and Esther, and husband, Ernie.
She is survived by her children, Robert (wife Celeste, children Alexandra and Zachary) and Allison (husband John, children Christian and Nikolas), and loving cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Her memory and legacy also live on in the thousands of friends, acquaintances, and former students whom she deeply touched over the years.
A viewing will be held on Saturday, August 21 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 30 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury, Connecticut.
The funeral will immediately follow.
Entombment will follow in the Grand View Mausoleum at Wooster Cemetery, Danbury
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Helen can be made to the Regional Hospice of Connecticut [30 Milestone Rd., Danbury, CT 06810], or to the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church [30 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury, CT 06810]. May her memory be eternal.
All in attendance are required to wear facial covering and or masks as mandated by the Dept. of Health of the City of Danbury
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen C. (Christopoulos) Arvanitis, please visit our floral store.
Regional Hospice and Home Care of Western CT
30 Milestone Road, Danbury CT 06810
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
30 Clapboard Ridge Rd., Danbury CT 06811