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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

The community is rallying together to raise funds for a Hicksville native who has been battling to get a service dog.

Nancy Burpee is a 49-year-old competitive swimmer and single mother with a rare genetic terminal illness called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), which causes the deterioration of the connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and vital organs.

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.


Sports

The fall athletic season seemed to move quickly, but all teams had outstanding seasons with all teams reaching the playoffs except for two who had their best season in many years.

In addition to athletic acheivements, all of the varsity programs at Hicksville High School also participated in raising more than $4,000 for several charities this past fall: pediatric cancer, breast cancer awareness and cystic fibrosis.

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.


Calendar

Model Railroad Open House

November 28-30

Popcorn Balls

November 30

Craft Fair

November 30



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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