Remembering Honey

Helena Ritchie passed away on January 8th 2016.

Donna sent me this last Saturday…

Helena “Honey” M. (Ritchie) Arel, 97, of New Britain, widow of George R. Arel, passed away peacefully Friday (January 1, 2016) at Jerome Home in New Britain. Born March 10, 1918 and was native and lifelong New Britain resident, she was the daughter of the late Frank J. and Odna (Lagasse) Ritchie. She was a graduate of New Britain High School, class of 1936, and of the New Britain General Hospital School of Nursing in 1939. Helena was a registered nurse at New Britain General Hospital followed by working for Doctors Kaplan, LaCava and then Dr. Harold Bosco. During her tenure at NBGH, she attended to a young man who turned out to be the love of her life (George R. Arel) and they married in November of 1939. She later was an industrial nurse for 17 years at Fafnir Bearing Company, retiring in 1981. Helena was a member of St. Maurice Church in New Britain. Surviving are three sons, Roger Arel and his wife Dorothy of McKinney, TX; William Arel and his wife Judith of Unionville; and George Arel Jr. of Hebron; 2 daughters, Judith Grasso and her husband Louis of Plainville and Janice Melechinsky and her husband Mark of New Britain. She also leaves behind her loving grandchildren, Audrey Duncan, Cindy Coats, Gary Grasso, Joseph Grasso, Andrew Arel, Nathan Arel, Jocelyn Hall, Timothy Melechinsky, Robyn Melechinsky, Allison Arel, Sarah Arel, Jessica Arel; beloved great grandchildren Brandon McDonnell, Nick McDonnell and Dylan Duncan; and several nieces and nephews. Besides her husband George, she was predeceased by two sisters, Irene Varhol of Bristol and Doris Decker of Southington; three brothers, Francis Ritchie of Bristol; and William and Robert Ritchie, both who lost their lives in WWII. The family would like to express their thanks for the excellent care that Jerome Home had provided Helena over the past seven years. A special thanks to the day staff of the North Wing.

See more at:

I have never met Helena except on old family pictures shared by Dennis Lagasse IV in 2011.

Child- Odna - Frank - Ida - ? - ? - Levi Napoleon - Dubé? - Hector Lamothe

Helena was born March 10th 1918. Odna is holding her little girl. Helena would be around 7 months-old. Helena is “Honey” and her mother is Odna Lagasse who was a Gold Star Mother twice.

Donna pictures 6

Collection Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse family

Odna & Frank 1913

Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse

Collection Frank Richie and Odna Lagasse family

Helena is seen here once more on this montage I had made trying to figure out who her mother was in old pictures back in 2011.


I have stopped guessing.

Child- Odna - Frank - Ida - ? - ? - Levi Napoleon - Dubé? - Hector Lamothe

 Helena M Arel

Helena Ritchie 1918-2016

2 thoughts on “Remembering Honey

  1. Thank you. Now all of my grandmother’s (Odna Lagasse Ritchie) children are with her in heaven and her legacy continues through her grandchildren.

    • That’s why I have been writing about our ancestors.

      I value your contribution. You are in fact the one who has been written all this in a way. At first I was thinking Odna was her sister Ida. You led me to these people. We have come a long way Donna.

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