Helen Szabo

Helen Szabo, 92, of Black Lake (Onaway), died at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey Friday February 16, 2018. The daughter of Frank and Mary (Pastor) Toth, Helen was born in Detroit August 1, 1925. She married Joseph Szabo June 2, 1945 in Detroit.


Helen was a homemaker and worked part time as a seamstress. A devoted wife and mother, Helen made a warm and loving home for her family. Very talented and skilled, Helen sewed most of her daughters’ clothing, including their dresses for prom.  She enjoyed knitting, was an avid reader and an excellent cook. Helen enjoyed days spent with her lady friends, shopping and going out to eat.

Helen and Joe first came to the Onaway area when they rented a cottage on Black Lake for a summer vacation.  They fell in love with Black Lake and returned each summer. In 1970 they bought the place they had rented for so many years and in 1985 made it their permanent home.  Strong in her Catholic faith, Helen was a longtime member at St. Paul Catholic Church in Onaway.  She and Joe were very active members of the Onaway Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post. Helen helped in the kitchen for Sunday breakfast, chicken barbecues, bingo and Friday night fish fry. She baked cookies and worked for VFW blood drives, passed out treats at the Post each Halloween, and generously gave her time whenever needed.

Helen was honest, hardworking, generous and kind. With 92 years of life experience,

she was set in her ways and quite determined. She was friendly with a bit of a dry sense of humor.  Helen’s strength, sincerity and friendship will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Surviving Helen are her three daughters, Karen (Stuart) Schaefer of Tequesta, Florida, Christine (Kevin) Jones of Taylor and Jeane Haubrick of Lincoln Park; seven grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren; as well as two sisters, Lillian Yager of Lincoln Park and Janet Fletcher of Allen Park. Helen was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Joe, August 11, 1999; and two sisters, Ann Darga and Mary Cyfka.

Visitation will be held at the Chagnon Funeral Home today (Thursday, February 22) from 4 – 8 p.m. Helen’s funeral will be at the funeral home Friday, February 23, beginning at 11 a.m.  The Rev. Peter Eke will officiate. Helen’s final resting place will be at North Allis Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Helen to the Onaway VFW Post 5857 or the Cheboygan County Humane Society. Condolences may be share with Helen’s family online at www.chagnonfh.com.