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Obituary: Helen Mayo Lafferty

Helen Mayo Lafferty, of Hicksville, born Aug. 10, 1925, died peacefully in her sleep at home in the early hours of Oct. 15. She had just turned 87 years of age. Her husband of 46 years, Raymond Lafferty, predeceased her in 1993.

Helen was a lifelong advocate for justice and quality public education for all. In the 1950s, she actively worked to defeat a John Birch Society member seeking election to the Hicksville Board of Education. She pioneered preschool education in Hicksville at Burns Avenue School, writing the school’s first pre-school curriculum. She also advocated actively for the introduction of formal high school sex education classes in the mid-1960s. Always acting as an independent voice and voter, she ran for, and was elected to, the Hicksville Board of Education on two occasions, serving one term as president. There were several careers in her life: she was a medical secretary, preschool administrator and a licensed real estate broker. She was an active, founding member of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Brookville. One of her greatest joys was gardening, where she came to be known as the flower lady of Indiana Street. She was also a keen follower of local, state and national politics. One of her expressed regrets was that she would likely not be able to vote in this year’s presidential election.

She is survived by her sister, Kathleen Keefler Kinch, of Montreal, her two sons, Brian Francis Patrick (Nancy) of Andover, MA and Scott Daniel Patrick (Donna) of West Babylon, NY, three grandchildren Caitlin, Brendan and Fiona, whom she loved very much. She was predeceased by her brothers, Richard and Francis (2012) and two children, Thomas (1954) and Priscilla (1957).

Her wake was held at the Vernon Wagner Funeral home located at Jerusalem Avenue and Old Country Road, Hicksville, on Thursday, Oct. 18. A funeral mass was scheduled for her on Friday, Oct. 19, at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Brookville, NY. Donations to Catholic charities in lieu of flowers are suggested.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com