Michael P. Helechu, 100, was reunited with his beloved wife, Helen (Suchcicki) Helechu, when he died peacefully with family by his side on June 23rd in Enfield. He was born Jan. 22, 1920, in New Britain, son of Nicholas and Catherine (Zahazewska) Halaycio and, from the age of seven, stepfather Peter Bardeck.
Michael attended New Britain public schools and was recognized as the cityâ€™s marbles champion in the late 1920s. After graduating from high school, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Voluntown and then enlisted in the Army to serve his country during World War II. He was assigned to the 614th Ordnance Battalion from March 1942 - December 1945. He served in England and France and participated in the Rhineland Campaign in 1945. He was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with service star, the Army of Occupation medal and Good Conduct medal, and was discharged with the rank of Tech Sergeant.
Michael married his sweetheart, Helen, in 1947. They were together for 51 years before she passed in 1998. He was co-owner of Rainbow Ice Cream in New Britain, serving many children and families on city streets as well as in concessions at Walnut Hill and Stanley Quarter Parks and Stanley Pool. The company became Rainbow Catering in the mid-1950s, serving industrial customers throughout central CT with as many as 15 trucks on the road daily. Michael retired in 1981 and enjoyed many great rounds of golf into his 90s. He was very proud of scoring two holes-in-one at Stanley Golf Course. A lifelong Yankees fan, he and his son watched Roger Maris hit his 61st home run in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1st, 1961. He is a life member of VFW Post 511 and Elks Lodge 957 in New Britain, and a member of American Legion Post 117 and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Newington.
He is survived by his son, Michael â€śMitchâ€ť W. Helechu and his wife, Dora, of Enfield, his daughter, Marcyanne Belfi of Pembroke Pines, Florida, his sister, Mary LeBrun of Ballwin, Missouri, grandchildren Catherine Carlton and husband Benjiman of Enfield, Peter Helechu of Newington, step granddaughter Melinda Caputo of Enfield, his great-grandson Jacob, and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister, Olga. Burial with military honors will be private. Duksa Family Funeral Homes at Newington Memorial, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington has care of the arrangements.
For online condolences, please visit us at www.duksa.net .