Helen Cameli DePaiva, 87, passed away peacefully June 5, 2017. She was with her family.
Helen was born Jan. 22, 1930, in Waterford, New York, to Alessandro and Mary Grace Vozey. She was one of six first-generation Americans born to proud Italian immigrants via an “old country” arranged marriage.
She grew up in upstate New York. She worked for the state DMV and was very active in her community. She met her husband-to-be, Al DePaiva, at a dance she helped organize for the students attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. They were married in 1951 and settled down in Bethesda, Maryland, where Al worked at Martin Marietta. They also started a family having their first child.
In 1958, they moved to Orlando, Florida, where Martin Marietta was opening a new plant. They both worked for Martin, but Helen decided to stay home to raise not only the first child but the additional four they had while living in Pine Hills.
She retired from the Orange County School system after working many years with special-needs children. She was also a licensed Realtor.
Helen was active in the community in the area as well, being a member of the Welcome Wagon, Knights of Columbus, VFW and the Moose Lodge. She was a volunteer coach for volleyball and softball at the Walsie L. Ward Girls’ Club in Pine Hills for many years, too.
She enjoyed bowling, camping, playing bridge/card games and spending time with family. After Helen and Al retired, they toured Europe and visited Helen's relatives in Italy. They took many cruises to Alaska, Panama and the Caribbean.
They were part of the Daytona Yacht club and a camping club that camped all over Florida.
She was preceded in death by her father and mother; first daughter, Cindy; and all of her siblings except her youngest sister.
She is survived by four children, Stephen (Crystal) DePaiva, Lisa (Duane) Cochenour, Dwayne (Cristine – fiance) DePaiva and Peter (Kim) DePaiva; nine grandchildren, Michael, Kenny, Tony, Jessica, Savannah, Danny, Nicholas, Mary and Hanna; one great-grandchild, Nathaniel; sister, Rose Nolan.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Resurrection Catholic Church, 1211 Winter Garden Vineland Road, Winter Garden, FL 34787; or The Mike Conley Hospice House - Cornerstone Hospice, 2100 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont FL 34711.