Senior generation spotlight

First Posted: 2/21/2014

Helen Lakamy was dressed in a pink blouse and blue pants. She wore a necklace and bracelet she’d won playing games at Willowbrook where she resides.

“I love games,” she said. “I am always busy here.”

Lakamy was born on Oct. 31, 1921 in Clifton New Jersey. She was one of 10 children of the late Martin and Bertha Yigh. All her siblings are deceased except for her brother Elmer and sister Eleanor.

Lakamy worked at Kmart in New Jersey.

“I was in shipping and receiving. I had to check the merchandise on the truck when it came in,” she said. “I had to drive 31 miles one way to get to work. I had to do something, and I liked it.”

She worked at the retail chain for about 10 years until she retired.

Lakamy married her husband, John, on March 17, 1945.

“He was in the Army when we married. Right after we were married, the war ended,” she said.

John worked in a dress factory until he died in a car accident at 49.

Lakamy moved from New Jersey to Willowbrook about six years ago to be closer to family. But it’s all the activities at the senior center facility that keep her busy.

“There is a big sheet of paper at the end of the hall. I check it every day to see what is going on,” she said. “We also get a smaller activity sheet. I try to be involved in everything.”

The 93-year-old enjoys reading, but because of her involvement with other activities, does not find the time to enjoy a book.

“They sometimes have entertainment here, and on Mondays and Fridays they have happy hour. It breaks up the week,” she said.

Lakamy also enjoys meeting new residents and finding out where they came from. She has a son, John James, who lives in New Jersey and a daughter, Mary Ann Debalko, who lives in Starruca, Pa. Lakamy also has grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“My daughter will take me out shopping but otherwise I do not get out much,” she said.

Lakamy will continue to check the activity sheet to see what new adventures she can get involved with and enjoy the games she likes to play.

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