Helen Detke

Helen Detke
Helen Detke

Helen Detke, 71, a retired 27-year staff member at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday evening, October 30, 2013, surrounded by her family.  Helen had battled cancer for the past year.

She was born in Klaje, near Pskov, Russia, to Igor and Anfisa (Artemenko) Gousseff on December 18, 1941.  As a child, she and her family were taken to Germany during World War II, where they lived in a labor camp before emigrating to the United States and settling in East Meadow, NY in 1951.

Helen was a life-long member of Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, from the time she came to the US.  It was there that she met and married her husband, Richard Detke, in 1964.  They were happily married for 27 years when he passed away suddenly in 1991.

A homemaker while her children were young, Helen began working as a volunteer at the Chancery in the early 1980s.  In 1985, she became a Secretary/Administrative Assistant, working closely with the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards as the “right hand” to FOS directors Archpriest Sergei Glagolev, Archpriest Basil Summer and others.  Upon her retirement from the Chancery in July 2012, she said of her time working there, “It was my joy to be here, to work with people who wanted the best for the Orthodox Church in America, who gave of themselves.  Every day was a gift for me to come in, to be with people I enjoyed being with.”

Helen is survived by her mother, Anfisa Gousseff; three children, Laura, Serge and Eugene, and three granddaughters Anna Sophia, Alexa and Angelina.  She is also survived by her sister, Lily Wadiak, and brother, Alex Gousseff, and her sister-in-law, Virginia Jerosh.

Visitation will begin at Holy Trinity Church, 369 Green Ave., East Meadow, NY at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, with a Memorial Service at 6:00 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at the church on Monday, November 4, at 11:00 a.m., followed by interment at Greenfield Cemetery.  A luncheon will follow at the parish hall.

Again, upon her retirement, Helen said, “Many wonderful people gave to the Church so generously.  And they gave because they were asked.  They believed in the ministries of the Church.  You have to ask people, your own people if you want the ministries of the Church to thrive.”  Hence, in lieu of flowers, Helen’s family requests that memorial gifts in her memory be made to Holy Trinity Church, 369 Green Ave., East Meadow, NY 11554, or to the Orthodox Church in America, PO Box 675, Syosset, NY 11791.

Condolences may be posted on her on-line guest book at http://memorial.yourtribute.com/Helen-Detke.

May Helen’s memory be eternal!