Obituary: Helen Budzynski, 95, Fountain. 

April 10, 2018

Obituary: Helen Budzynski, 95, Fountain. 

Helen Eva (Baibak) Budzynski, 95, and long-time resident of Fountain passed from this world to be with her beloved Savior, husband, parents, departed family and friends in Heaven on April 10, 2018.

Helen was born October 23, 1922 on her family’s Mason County dairy farm, beloved second child of Lithuanian immigrants Zigmont and Helen (Monchunski) Baibak. Although she lived much of her youth on the south side of Detroit, her childhood summers and adult life were joyfully spent on the family farm in Mason County. As the family’s sole daughter, she spoke frankly and confidently to all with sass and spunk and was always a commanding presence in her family.

Helen went to elementary school under the loving guidance of the Sisters of St. Casimir in Detroit, and to Custer High School, graduating in 1940 along with many other first generation American children of Lithuanian immigrants. Tragically, her father died one year later. With her mother, she worked to keep the family’s dairy farm going for three years while helping raise her baby brother John. Though her mother preferred her to marry a nice Lithuanian boy, she met Anthony “Tony” Budzynski, the love of her life, in 1942 and married him on April 22, 1944. Together Helen and Tony ran the family dairy farm for 38 years, raised three sons, faithfully served the parishes of St. Joseph at Round Lake and St. Mary in Custer and supported the community in Sheridan Township.  In 2004 they celebrated 60 blessed years of marriage. Tony considered himself the luckiest man alive to have Helen as his wife.

She had a beautiful soprano voice and sang the Ave Maria at countless area weddings, funerals and ceremonies. She served 25-plus years on the St. Joseph/St. Mary’s Catholic Church Parish Councils, was a member of St. Mary’s choir and Altar Society and worked countless church chicken dinner fundraisers. Helen’s mighty faith and great heart enabled her to serve as a second mother to those in need, a confidante and comforter in all matters of compassion and friendship. She served on the Holmes School Board (prior to annexation by Mason County Eastern School), as well as holding the posts of Sheridan Township Clerk for 27 years, Mason County Planning Commission, and State Boundaries Commission member. Her outspoken, intelligent, and giving nature served her constituents and her family well.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents and older brother Stan Baibak, as well as her beloved husband Tony in 2005.  Helen will be remembered in love by her three sons, Thomas (Gayle) of Leonard, Michigan, George (Jill) of Fountain, and John (Andrea) of Riverview; her granddaughter Greta (Dan) Wolford; great-granddaughter Savannah Wolford; and great-grandson Mason Wolford of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and devoted family friend/”adopted” daughter Pat (John) Papes  of Fountain; her brother John (Donna) Baibak of DeWitt; and many, many nieces, nephews and cousins from the Baibak and Budzynski families, and friends from the area, across the state of Michigan, US and Lithuania.  They will miss her strength of character and determination, stalwart Catholic faith, boundless love, positive personality and delicious Lithuanian cooking at holidays. Ma, you will live in our hearts daily, we’ll toast you every Christmas Kucha over Kugelis, Kukulis, Ausukes and Pierogies, and keep your stories alive.

Friends may meet with her family for a visitation and rosary on Friday, April 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer.  The Funeral Mass will be celebrated for Helen at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 14 at St. Mary’s Church.  Helen will be interred at the Custer Cemetery next to her beloved husband, parents, and family members. Her sons have asked that memorials be sent to the St. Rose Altar Society of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, to Great Lakes Caring Hospice, or to EWTN. They thank the many, many dear friends who attended her in her final years.

Please visit Helen’s memory page at www.wymanfuneralservice.com to leave a tribute of Helen for her family, or to light a candle in her memory.

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