Helen S. Thomas

February 29, 1924 ~ September 28, 2023 (age 99) 99 Years Old

Helen Thomas Obituary


Friday, February 29, 1924 – Thursday, September 28, 2023

I am no longer with you. I have had a long run for 99 years and enjoyed every day. I was born well-to-do on Friday, February 29, 1924 to my distinguished, intelligent father, Samuel (Savas) Calender and to my beautiful and talented mother, Olga Paskalides. I lived on one floor of my father’s building at 267 State Steet in Carthage, New York. My father ran an elegant restaurant on the ground floor with other businesses occupying the remaining three stories. The top two floors were large apartments. I enjoyed my childhood, never lacking for anything.

When I became of school age, my family joined the ranks of the Depression. My father had used all of his assets to bring his fleeing relatives from Greece into this country to escape the Turkish massacre. He supported and sponsored them until they were settled. He also tried to help his desperate friends, but unfortunately he lost all of his assets and credits. After ten years of struggle, like many others, we survived.

I attended both the elementary and Carthage High School with the best teachers I shall never forget. I achieved an honorary Regents Diploma. During the Depression my mother found enough money (50 cents) to give me private piano lessons from my adoring teacher, Elizabeth Miller. In my later years I studied voice from the notable Grace Allen. I briefly went to work on the weekends, selling popcorn at Harry Liberatos’ Variety Store in Carthage and for a short time attended the Watertown School of Commerce After my graduation, the United States Army was recruiting for help at Pine Camp, now known as Fort Drum. I responded and was appointed the Secretary of the Requisition Department. I met my soon to be husband, Chris Thomas, who was in charge of the war criminals and all the kitchen set-up at the camp.


After serving at Pine Camp, I became the Secretary to Attorney Daniel Scanlon for several years. Chris and I were married at Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church in Watertown by Reverend Father Stamatios Ganiaris and had six children. She is survived by three daughters, Olga (Watertown), Christina (Watertown), Maria (Syracuse), two sons, Mitchell (Tarrie), Alabama, Samuel (Watertown), several grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

She is predeceased by her mother and father, a daughter and son in law, Androniki Thomas Litman and Dr. Robert Litman, two sisters, Mary Calender, Anne Tinsley (William II) brothers, James Calender (Diana - survivor), Chris Calender (Kively) and a grandson, Benjamin Litman, a brother-in-law, George Thomas and a sister-in-law, Androniki Thomas.

My darling Chris passed away in 1970 and I had six children to raise. I worked at my brothers’ pharmacy, the Medical Center Pharmacy for twenty-six years. All of us worked hard together to achieve our goals. The children graduated from college with Masters Degrees and established themselves in their fields.

I retired but found so much more in life: music, archaeology, historic preservation, trying to cook like my mother, interior decorating, writing, reading The Wall Street Journal and learning something new every day. I was fortunate to have survived the Great Depression, Wars and illnesses.

Remember, ”Life is short and precious. Each day is a cherished blessing, therefore make each day of your life count.”

Arrangements are with the D.L. Calarco Funeral Home, Inc., 135 Keyes Avenue, Watertown, New York 13601. There will be no calling hours, but a private funeral ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 4th at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church with Reverend Father Philip Yanulis officiating. Interment will be at the family plot at Brookside Cemetery, Town of Watertown.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Saint Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church, 502 Franklin Street, Watertown, New York 13601. Online condolences may be made to

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Funeral Service
October 4, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church
516 Franklin Street
Watertown, NY 13601


St. Vasilios Greek Orthodox Church
516 Franklin Street, Watertown NY 13601


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