George Borkowski and Helen Urda met in the X-Ray Department darkroom at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, where they were employed as X-ray technicians. A few “GI series” procedures later, and with little regard for the flood of 1955, they were married in September, one month after Connecticut’s greatest natural disaster. Why stop now? They ran away to Windsor Locks, CT, to escape their home towns of Terryville (George) and Torrington (Helen) to start a family. They were forced to return in 1962 when their dream house in Harwinton became available. They spent the remainder of their 65-year marriage there until their passing.
Despite diligent efforts to avoid the COVID-19 virus, both tested positive in mid-January 2021. George died at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital on February 3, 2021, following the brief time he spent in the care of wonderful professionals at the hospital and the COVID Specialty Care Facility in Torrington.
Helen died at Sharon Health Care Center in Sharon, CT, on June 28, 2021. She began her stay there on January 27 and made some new friends while she was in the care of many amazing professionals. She also benefited greatly from the care of the staff at Sharon Hospital. Finally, the professionals of the Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Litchfield County provided additional peace and comfort during her final six weeks at Sharon Health Care Center.
Helen and George made the most of their 59-year stay in Harwinton. They were active members of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and formed a close friendship with four other couples from the church. They were both involved with the Harwinton town government, George with the Zoning Board and Helen with the Registrar of Voters. They also volunteered for the Harwinton Historical Society, and George was a member of the Harwinton Volunteer Fire Department for a time. They were fixtures for both organizations annually at the Harwinton Fair.
George loved to laugh and Helen played along – most of the time. He enjoyed playing Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” on the phonograph during Sunday brunch after church. This did not last for long, as some of the verbiage in the narrative was not the best example for young children. He also loved cars, which was a bit more wholesome, and enjoyed identifying various defunct models from the past as they passed by on the road.
Helen was a lifelong artist and loved to sing. Her medium of choice was oil paint on canvas. She was a member of the Torrington Artists Association. Helen and George passed their love of art and music (chiefly classical) on to their children and their grandchildren. Helen enjoyed gardening, and spent countless days in retirement transforming the landscape around their home into a lovely show of colors through the growing seasons. George enjoyed working outside and especially bringing in deadwood to supplement the heat for the winter.
George spent most of his career in Radiologic Technology at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford after serving in the Navy during the Korean War, stationed in Virginia. Helen held many part-time positions to accommodate motherhood and returned to her chosen field of Radiologic Technology at St. Francis Hospital to aid in the education of new technologists for a brief time. She finished her working career as an insurance claims auditor.
George was born in Terryville, CT, on February 22, 1931, to Felix and Celia Borkowski. He was predeceased by two older brothers, Felix and Edward, and his younger brother, Thomas. He is survived by his younger sister, Carol.
Helen was born in Torrington, CT, on February 16, 1934, to Andrew and Helen Urda. She was predeceased by two older brothers, Andrew and George, and her younger sister, Sister Teresa Urda. She is survived by her older brother, Cyril.
George and Helen are also survived by their two sons, Aaron and Dr. Chris Borkowski; Aaron’s wife, Kathleen; their two daughters, Rachel and Hannah; Chris’s daughters, Faith and Hope; their mother, Ellen Yu; and great-grandson, Wyatt Cox, son of Rachel Borkowski and partner Bryce Cox.
A funeral mass will be served at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Harwinton, CT, on September 7, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., followed by internment at Saint Peter Cemetery in Torrington, CT.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial donation to an art, music, or public safety organization of your choice.
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