Helen Elaine Mittenzwei, 97, of North Miami, FL, passed away Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at Suncoast Hospice in Pinellas Park, FL with family at her side.
She was born on December 14, 1920 in Endicott, NY to Charles and Susan (Gabor) Hodovanis and was one of eight children. Helen led a full and vibrant life, marrying her husband, Raymond George Mittenzwei, on October 1, 1944. They moved from Binghamton, NY to Oakland, CA where she worked as a civilian secretary for the Navy during World War II. After the war, they moved to North Miami, FL, which she called home for 55 years. There she endured the death of her husband on June 1, 1970, raised two children, embodied strength and resilience as a single, working mother, and led a successful career as a Vice President of People’s Liberty National Bank of North Miami, FL. After retiring, she was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary at Barry University. Helen then moved to Florence, KY where she resided for the past 17 years, and she was an active member of the Walton Senior Center. She recently relocated in May 2018 to Magnolia Gardens Assisted Living in Pinellas Park, FL to be near her son, Jim, and his wife, Joanne.
Throughout her life, Helen maintained a sharp and inquisitive mind, fostering her love of puzzles and games, including euchre and rummy-o. She also enjoyed horseracing and playing poker, blackjack, and craps at casinos on special occasions. Her timeless sophistication and style, sparkling personality, nonstop dancing at weddings, and quick-wit brought warmth, smiles, and laughter everywhere she went. A self-proclaimed “recycled teenager” and humbly referring to herself as “Just Grandma,” she was exuberant, treasured, and truly the life of the party.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and husband. She is survived by her two sons, Ray Allen Mittenzwei of Slidell, LA and James (Jim) Rory Mittenzwei of Redington Beach, FL. She was a devoted and loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, great aunt, and great, great aunt. She will be dearly missed by her loving family and friends.
A viewing and service will be held at Taylor Family Funeral Home on Saturday, September 1, 2018 at 5:00 pm. She will be buried at Flagler Memorial Park in Miami, FL alongside her beloved husband.