Helen Rogalski died recently, just shy of her 95th birthday.
I thought I first met Helen when she was 90 or 91 and I was a new volunteer at Calumet City Resources, Cal City’s food and clothing center for those in need, and where she had worked for years.
The center is on Wentworth and 155th Place in the building that used to be a hardware store… her hardware store… her and her husband’s.
I said “thought” I first met Helen because when I read her obituary in The Times, I realized she was the one who had sold me sundry gift items from that hardware store. She had repurposed part of the store to include a gift shop.
The Rogalskis' store was sold quite some years ago.
Anyway, push forward 20-plus years and there I meet up with Helen again in the same building, no longer hers, but still busily at work.
Helen was a sweet, proper, soft-spoken lady and a good worker. Even as she had some health issues she was on the job into her early 90s.
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And even when her age prevented her from being a regular, she would appear to visit and see how things were going.
Helen was the winner of the second Sr. Alban Community Service Award. The Calumet City Lions created the award to honor outstanding community volunteers. The award was named after Sr. Alban Hermes, who ran Calumet City Resources for many years. It was done as a tribute to Sr. Alban upon her retirement.
Sr. Alban is in retirement at the motherhouse of her order in Michigan.
Helen Rogalski and Sr. Alban Hermes. Two women of high character, class, and concern for others.
Rest in peace, Helen.
Thanks for reading.