New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)

Helen Hart-Valentine Messero

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Helen Hart-Valentine Messero, longtime resident of Guilford and recently of Buckley, WA, passed away peacefully at home on September 7 at age 98, surrounded by loving family. She was born in New York City, daughter of the late Edna Doerr and Arthur Hart. She was the loving mother of daughter Jayne Valentine Miller and her husband James Moore (of Guilford), and son Robert F. Valentine and his wife Amber (of Buckley, WA).

She was predecease­d by her first husband Francis Valentine and second husband Louis Messero, and predecease­d by her brother Arthur Hart (and his wife Madeline) and sister Edna “Susie” Collier (and her husband John).

She is also survived by three grandchild­ren, Robert Valentine (of Redmond, WA) and his wife Dana, James Valentine (of Madison, CT) and his wife Kaitlyn, Amy Shepard and her husband Jesse (of Yacolt, WA) and eight great grandchild­ren, Olivia, Harrison, Robert, Vinny, Anthony, Kristine, Landen, and Zoey. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews and friends, all of whom she held dear to her heart, and many who have considered her their “second Mom.”

In her early life in New York City, Helen worked in several high fashion clothing stores and also did some modeling for them. She also worked at an engineerin­g firm in NYC where they were developing the earliest television­s. She often spoke of the engineers huddled around a small screen and celebratin­g excitedly when small wiggly lines appeared on the screen—the precursor to our modern TVs. Later in life after her children were grown she worked in the accounting offices of Bradlees for many years until her retirement.

In recent years, on any Tuesday and Friday you would find Helen at her much loved aerobics class led by Barbara Corso at the Guilford Community Center, and every Wednesday at the ballroom dancing class. Helen was well into her 90’s while participat­ing in these classes. To say Helen loved to dance is an understate­ment—a plaque hung on her refrigerat­or that said “I’d Rather Be Dancing” and that was her motto to any adversity that came her way.

Helen’s whole life was her family. She loved every family birthday celebratio­n, weddings, and gathering of any sort, but her biggest contributi­on was her ease with people. She was never heard to say a bad word about anyone, she always found the good in everyone. She had a huge caring heart and loved to make people laugh and was always helping others in any way she could.

Arrangemen­ts were in the care of the Weeks Funeral Home in Buckley, WA. A memorial service will be held at St George Church in Guilford at a later date to be arranged by the family.

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