Helen Blanche Palange

LEWISTON – Helen Blanche Palange, 91, of Lewiston, died peacefully on June 30, 2022, at The Mooring at the Downs. Helen was born on August 5, 1930, in Lewiston, Maine, of Nellie Mardos and John Ezyek. She knew deeply the meaning of love and family. Her parents escaped a difficult life in Poland and worked extremely hard in the Lewiston textile mills to make ends meet in Maine. Helen had a brother, Alexander Mardos, and two sisters, Evelyn Mardos Sorensen, and Minnie Mardos. She grew up in an apartment across the street from the Lincoln Street Playground where she and her family would go to swim, swing, and listen to bands play on Sunday nights. When she was old enough, Helen worked as a seamstress at the Pepperell Mills. She was 15 when she saw a picture of Vincent Palange over the ice cream fountain in his family’s store on the corner of Lisbon and Cedar Streets. It was love at first sight. She could not believe someone could actually be so handsome in real life. When Vincent returned from his service in World War II, Helen met him in person and fell in love. For about a year, they met secretly to walk and talk together before Vincent proposed. They were married on April 24, 1948. After that, she could not believe how lucky she was.

Helen always said that Vincent was the love of her life. She was grateful for every day she spent with him. They went on to have five children and built a beautiful home in Lewiston with a swimming pool in the backyard for the children. As the children grew, Helen told them, “You can be anything you want to be.” Knowing what it meant to come from modest means, she wanted her children to have an education and every opportunity possible. As Vincent worked hard for the family’s fruit company, Maine Banana Corporation, Helen took immense pride in taking care of their home and their family. Though he worked long hours, Vincent left love notes for Helen around the house and on her car. Helen later worked in the jewelry department for Service Merchandise. She loved her job and the people she worked with. When Vincent died suddenly of a heart attack in 1981, she was devastated, but continued to put her family above all. She cherished her children, Kathy Palange Bell of Augusta, John Palange of Manchester, Angela Palange Hunt of Scarborough, Valentina Palange of Venice, Florida, and Vincent Palange of Gray; as well as each of her eight grandchildren, Lisa, Steven, Kimberly, Laura, Helen, Sophia, Ryan, and Nicole; and her nine great-grandchildren. She wrote in a memory journal, “I want people to remember me as caring and loving. My wonderful husband and children—I loved them as much as life.”

Helen found the beauty in every day. She loved spending time with family, cooking, traveling, caring for her beloved cats, listening to music, and always dancing the polka. “Wherever I go,” she would say, “the polka goes with me.” Helen exuded love and life and lifted everyone lucky enough to be in her company. Her warm and caring spirit will remain in all who loved her.

The Palange family would like to acknowledge The Cedars, The Mooring at the Downs, and Compassus for their exceptional and loving care of our mother in which we are profoundly grateful.

Funeral mass will be held on Monday, July 11, at 11 a.m., at Holy Family Church, 607 Sabattus St., Lewiston.

Committal prayers to follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery.

To leave a message for the family in their online guestbook, please visit http://www.thefortingroupauburn.com

A service of The Fortin Group Funeral Home, 217 Turner St. AUBURN 783-8545.

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