Helaine Marion Roses, age 81, of Livingston, NJ passed away on March 25, 2020 at St. Barnabas Medical Center from acute respiratory failure due to COVID-19. Helaine was born on in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY. She was the first child of Betty and Leo Eckert, and from the moment she was born until her last days, Helaine was both gentle and fierce. She spoke fondly of her happy childhood and was extremely fortunate to have a loving younger brother Alan. Helaine was extremely smart. She was a graduate of Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, and received her Bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College. In 1959, Helaine married her first and only love Joel B. Roses, also of Brooklyn. They welcomed their first son Laurence Evan Roses in 1961. Their family was completed upon the birth of Steven Mark Roses in 1965. Helaine was, quite literally, teen idol Steve Lawrence’s number-one fan, in that she was the very first fan of his very first fan club. This role culminated with an in-person visit by Steve Lawrence himself to teenage Helaine’s apartment complex in Brooklyn. It was only in the last few years that her sons, Steve and Laurence, questioned the connection to their own names. Helaine said it was mere coincidence. Helaine was a certified home economics teacher and was exceptionally talented in the home arts. She used her artistic creativity in her boys’ upbringing; designing and sewing their clothes and filling every day with really, really good food. Helaine enjoyed working and was employed in education, business administration, and child care. Over the years, Helaine and Joel made their home in several communities in which they made lifelong friends. Their hometowns included Rego Park, NY; Longmeadow, MA; Sudbury, MA; and Glendale, CA. In 1997, they retired to Boynton Beach, FL, where they lived together until Joel’s death in 2015. On New Year’s Day 2017, Helaine’s family was forever fortunate to have her move to live near them in New Jersey. During her final years, she was happy and enjoyed good health, good meals and good fun, despite a very poor short term memory. Helaine knew she had a terrible memory and was always curious about it, never fearful of it. In youth and middle age, Helaine loved to play mah jong and was a crossword-puzzle aficionado. In later life, she became a bingo champion and amassed a small fortune in play-money from her daily victories. Despite her difficulties with memory, Helaine was always the center of lively conversations. She was generous with her compliments to others. She was full of moxie and had a playful sense of humor that was legendary to all of the staff at CareOne Assisted Living. Her family is forever in the debt of her loving, conscientious, funny, and (most especially) heroic caregivers at CareOne. They and the doctors, nurses and staff of St. Barnabas Medical Center were with Helaine when her family was not allowed to be there. The family’s gratitude is profound. In addition to her sons Larry of Los Angeles, CA and Steve (Maria Seigenthaler) of Maplewood, NJ, and her brother Alan (Cheryl) of Lake Worth, FL, Helaine is survived by her grandchildren Jordan Sid Roses, Annabelle Elizabeth Roses, and Julia Thomas Roses. A private virtual memorial service will be held for immediate family on Saturday afternoon, March 28, with Cantor Brian Serle officiating. Due to the current global health crisis Helaine’s public memorial service is postponed until a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be contributed in Helaine’s name to a charity that provides medical equipment or comfort to first responders and their patients during this time.
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