CARTHAGE, NY — Helena was born in Alexandria Bay, NY to Lyman and Doris (Randall) Rogers. They moved to their farm just outside of Antwerp, NY. during the mid 1930’s. While residing there she raised two Pinto ponies: Smokie and Daisy along with all the other animals. The horses were her favorite to take to horse shows and ride into town just to show them off. Imagine that! Camp Drum acquired the land to expand the base prior to World War II. She moved to Massena in the early 1950’s with her husband Richard A. Slate and their five children to take advantage of the jobs created by the Saint Lawrence Seaway being built during that time.
Helena wore many hats through her lifetime. Wife, mother, waitress, cafeteria worker in Massena Central School, bar tender, truck driver, bus driver, travel agent. Later in life she would relocate to Carthage, NY with her second husband Allen Rushlow. During this time she drove bus for Carthage Central School District from 1972 – 1979. She and Allen were very active with the West Carthage Fire Department and Auxiliary.
Helena and Allen became a team driving tractor trailer all over the United States in 1980. Stopping to see her daughter in Texas and her mother and brother in Florida. They ended up moving to Florida in the early 80’s to be close to Helena’s mother. After Allen’s death, she operated the Pate’s Senior Tours and Travel Business in Sanford, Florida until she moved back to Carthage in 1994. Helena graduated from Jefferson Community College in 1997 with an associates degree in Hospitality. She worked at the Fort Drum Inn for a time after graduation until health issues prevented her from working.
Helena is survived by two sons: Richard L. Slate (Linda Belile), Fine, NY; Raymond K. and Katherine Slate –Carthage, NY; three Daughters: Rita and Thomas Jansen – Benbrook, Texas; Rosemary Nichols – Palmer, Alaska and Doris Riley – Carthage, NY; 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 4 great great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her parents, brother – Lyman (Bud) Rogers, Grandson – Raymond Nichols.
Helena lived life to the fullest on her own terms and she would not hesitate to tell you that. The road she traveled was filled with twist, turns and roadblocks nevertheless she was steadfast in her journey to the pearly gates. Life will go on without her but it will never be the same. Our hearts will be filled with your memories.
Graveside services will be held in the spring in Hillside Cemetery, West Carthage, at a date and time to be announced. There will be no calling hours.
Arrangements are with Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home, Carthage.
To leave an online condolence, go to www.bezanillafh.com.