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Helen Shernit

April 5, 2020
Livonia, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Helen Shernit (nee Edwards), 93, died on April 5th, 2020, from complications of COVID-19. Helen was born in Detroit, Michigan, and was a proud Detroit and then Livonia resident. Helen was a graduate of Mackenzie High School and Wayne State University. (She would tell you that back then she could pay for her tuition by working at Crowley’s and Federal’s while living at home.) After graduation from WSU she began her career as a social worker for (what is now known as) Michigan Department of Human Services. After a series of promotions Helen retired in 1984 as a section manager of the Redford office. She dedi-cated 35 years to ensuring social welfare was justly provided to those in need.

After retirement, Helen and Michael (“Mickey”) spent their winters in Arizona, making close friends with many other “snowbirds.” But every May they were ready to return to Michigan, get into their backyard, and start gardening.

After Michael’s death in 2009 Helen became active in the Livonia Senior Center. She especially enjoyed the weekly class of current events. Helen never saw a newspaper she didn’t want to read and discuss! During these years, Helen’s daughter Susan (after moving home from Brooklyn, NY) lived with Helen, along with a very loved and miraculous beagle named Mary Lou.

In 2011 she moved into an independent senior living facility, which she adored. Helen participated in every activity-boat rides, lunches out (another one of her very favorite things), arts and crafts (who’d of thought?!), movie nights and holiday parties. She loved sitting on the porch in the summer with all of her friends, visiting with everyone who came through the door-especially if accompanied by a dog. All dogs. Everything was better with a dog.

Helen loved movies, and was an expert at trivia about old Hollywood films. She loved following politics and considered herself a “political junkie.” A lifelong Democrat, she was looking forward to voting this November. But most of all Helen loved books. She often said that the best thing about being retired was being able to stay up late reading into the night.

Helen is survived by her daughters, Susan and Karen. She will also be deeply missed by her niece, Kathy Reilly and her nephew, Christopher Mennone. Helen’s sister, Doris Mennone, predeceased her in 2018.

Donations may be made to Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Detroit, Michigan, or the Michigan Humane Society.