September 21, 1928 – November 23, 2019
Helen Fornazor (nee Ceselka), of River Vale, previously of New Milford, NJ, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on November 23, 2019 at the age of 91. Helen is predeceased by her beloved husband and best friend, John Fornazor; her parents, Peter and Helen Ceselka; her sister, Mary Zizik and her husband Frank; sister-in-law, Mary Diamond; and many loving relatives and friends. She is survived by her children, Susan Dugan and her husband Jack and John Fornazor and his wife Peggy; her grandchildren, Johnny Fornazor and his wife Christina, and Lauren McMackin and her husband Shawn; her cherished great-grandsons, Johnny Daniel Fornazor and Shawn Patrick McMackin. Also survived by her dear sister-in-law, Rita Concilla; and many special nieces and nephews. In addition to her love for family and friends, Helen had a passion for music since childhood. She created and conducted the Troika Balalaika Orchestra, teaching many members the art of playing the mandolin and balalaika. Helen’s performances took her to extraordinary venues bringing cultural pleasure to many. Also, together with her sister Mary and two friends, formed a group The Russian Gypsies and performed at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. She was also a longtime member of the Balalaika and Domra Association of America. Helen conducted church choirs for decades, being spiritually and musically attached to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church in Clifton for the last forty years. Helen loved to travel and found time to be a travel agent to help others see the world. She loved to read, learn, debate, shop and explore. Remember Helen for her love of life, her charitable heart, and her devotion to her faith. An energizer bunny on earth, Helen has finally been granted her resting time in Heaven. Visiting hours will held on Tuesday from 3-8pm at the Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Rd., Westwood, NJ with a parastas service at 7pm. Family and friends can meet on Wednesday 8:30am at Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church, 35 Orange Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013 for a visitation before the 10am Funeral Liturgy. The interment will follow after the mass at George Washington Memorial Park, Paramus, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church.
Assumption of the Holy Virgin Orthodox Church
35 Orange Avenue, Clifton, NJ 07013
- Visitation Tuesday, November 26, 2019
- Funeral Service Wednesday, November 27, 2019
- Committal Service Wednesday, November 27, 2019
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
Kathie and John Hegarty
November 27, 2019
Hello Smiley and Jack,
We were sorry to hear of your mom’s passing.The angels in heaven were playing music to welcome her for the many years of music she graced her church with.
She will always be with you In mind,heart,and spirit,
Love, Kathie and John Hegarty
November 26, 2019
Many years ago Helen put together a trip to Disney world forshe planned it as if it were her own trip. We had a terrific trip. Just recently went with 12of us and a different travel agent planned it and it was not as wonderful as the one Helen planned for us years earlier. She always was a beautiful woman when I was in her company. She is definitely sitting at Gods table. I ‘m sure trying to make travel arrangements for one of the God’s angels. My prayers and love to my dear friend Smiley and her family. But they have good memories from such a wonderful loving lady.
November 25, 2019
Although saddened by the passing of Mrs. Fornazor (as I always called her). I am full of joy for having been blessed with the opportunity to know her for the last 18 years. Over that span I was able to experience first hand her vigor of life, dedication to marriage and family, sense of humor, commitment to God and strong work ethic. I remember when Mr. Fornazor passed how she told me it was as if she lost an appendage. She never got over his passing and found a way to weave a message of her love and devotion to him into conversations of any subject. I choose to celebrate her life and to give God thanksgiving for lending such a powerfully beautiful life to us for such a long span. Rest in peace Mrs Fornazor after living a life well lived! With Love - Carl
Bruce Michael Ricciardi
November 25, 2019
Dear Susan, John and Family,
I was so sorry to hear of Mom's passing. I just saw her a month ago and we shared a few good laughs at Marge's wake. I will always remember her smile and laughter.
May God's peace and comfort be with all of you. She will always hold a special place in my heart. May her memory be eternal.
With my love and heartfelt sympathy to all.
Bruce Michael Ricciardi