Helen Horowitz, part of the ‘greatest generation,’ 96


Helen Ann Horowitz passed away on Jan. 9, 2017, at the age of 96. — two months short of her 97th birthday.

She was pre-deceased by her four dear sisters — Betty Behrens, Celia Rosenthal, Mary Simon and Fran Alter — and one brother, Jack Raisman. She also was pre-deceased by her parents, David and Molly Raisman.

She was a beloved wife to first husband George Gornstein and second husband Sol Horowitz, both of whom served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

She was a loving mother to sons David and Mark Gornstein, and a proud grandma to Jenifer Gornstein.

She was a resident of Riverdale since 1980 in the beautiful Amalgamated Housing Co-op. She graduated from Evander Childs High School in the Bronx as a proud straight-A student.

She was the bookkeeper and financial advisor for her husband Sol’s “mom and pop” hardware store on Willis Avenue in the South Bronx. She relocated to Fordham Road in 1980 in the northwest Bronx.

Helen’s mom and dad felt she showed early signs of being good at numbers and math, and would serve the family best by graduating high school — and she didn’t disappoint. She excelled in math and numbers to help the family with their finances. In the 1930s, most teens had to work and forego schooling because of the Great Depression, but Helen was an exception. She was born a “lefty,” but back then, people thought lefties were a sign of the devil and she would be forced to use her right hand.

She was very social, calling her family before noon each day to keep in touch. She was the glue that kept the family together, introducing everyone at family gatherings and never forgetting a name.

After her second husband passed, she started showing signs of deep depression, later diagnosed as mild Alzheimer’s disease. She lived with this dreaded disability for more than 20 years — which her family felt was some kind of record — while still maintaining her dignity and great sense of humor.

She would say, “At least I keep life interesting.”

The only way for families to deal with this disease is to get the best help and most understanding people as soon as possible. Helen kept the disease at bay due to her dedicated four home health aides, known as Helen’s “A-team,” and a small village of great organizations.

Until the day of her passing, she was happy and still giving everyone kisses. Even at the late stages of the disease, if you asked Helen how she felt, she would reply, “With my hands.” 

Helen was a part of the “greatest generation,” which we might never see again. May she rest in eternal peace.

Helen Ann Horowitz,