Helena (née Czajka) Rymarowicz, 102

December 14, 2023

Helena (née Czajka) Rymarowicz passed away peacefully in Concord on December 9 after a brief illness, at the age of 102.

Helena was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1921. Her life there was interrupted at the age of 18 by the German invasion of 1939. During the subsequent German occupation she had an office job which enabled her to help the Polish Resistance. After the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 Helena was forcibly sent to Germany to work in a factory, where she served as an interpreter, having learned German in high school.

After the liberation of Germany she met her future husband, Stanislaw Rymarowicz, a Polish soldier who had fought in the Polish Army under British Command. Helena and Stanislaw married in Germany and settled in England, where their only child, daughter Bożena, was born. In 1956 the family emigrated to the United States and settled in Chicago, where Helena worked as a keypunch operator. After Stanislaw died in 1974 Helena returned to Warsaw, where she enjoyed several years of reconnecting with her native land, family, and friends. In 1985 Bożena and her husband Irl invited Helena to come live with them in Concord and help raise their daughters, who still remember Helena singing Polish children’s songs which they now sing to their own children.

While Helena was proud to be American citizen, she cherished her Polish heritage and kept alive the Polish language and cultural traditions with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters. Helena played the accordion, harmonica, mandolin, violin, organ, and piano and had a large repertoire of songs she loved to sing. She was a charming and elegant lady with a lively intellect and sense of humor who made friends easily and met everyone with a kind word and a smile.

Helena lived with Irl and Bożena for 35 years and also found community at the Council on Aging and at First Parish in Concord. In 2021, at the age of 100, she moved to Rivercrest Skilled Nursing Home in Concord, where she lived until her passing. She will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.

Helena leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law Bożena and Irl Smith of Concord; granddaughter Maia, great-granddaughter Charlotte, and great-grandson Magnus of Tumwater, WA; and granddaughter Eva and great-granddaughter Geneviève of Knox, NY.

Her funeral is planned for next year in her beloved Poland.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Concord Council on Aging, 1276 Main Street, Concord, MA 01742.

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.  To share a memory or to offer a condolence in Helena’s online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneralHome.com.