Helen Paikert, a resident of Syracuse for more than 65 years, passed away on Sunday, November 20, 2016. She was 98 years old.
Helen was a school social worker for the City of Syracuse public school system for 20 years. She spent most of her career in McKinley School on the city's south side, and retired in 1983. Helen was also an adoption case worker for Catholic Charities, a social worker at Elmcrest Children's Center, as well as a French teacher.
She spent most of her life in Syracuse on Ferris Avenue on the city's east side with her husband Géza Charles Paikert, a professor of history at LeMoyne College. Helen was a parishioner of Our Lady of Solace Church, and a woman of great faith. She was an avid gardener, a long-time member of the French Club of Syracuse and active in Syracuse's Hungarian community.
She later moved to the Nottingham Senior Living Community and then Menorah Park, where she continued to be active, made new friends and spoke four languages fluently until the end of her life.
Born Countess Ilona Kuun in 1918 in Marosvásárhely, Transylvania, then part of Hungary, Ila earned a doctorate from the University of Budapest in 1947 and in September of that year came to the United States on an Exchange Students' scholarship to study at Indiana University. In December 1947 she married Géza, a former Hungarian government official who also emigrated to the United States and accepted a teaching position at LeMoyne. The following year she began to work for Catholic Charities, and earned a Masters degree in social work from the University of Buffalo in 1955.
Predeceased by her husband Géza Paikert in 1991 and her daughter, Terry Collins, who was fatally struck by a car in DeWitt while walking to work in 2003.
She is survived by her son Charles, a journalist who lives in South Orange, New Jersey and a granddaughter, Anna Paikert, a special education teacher.
Calling hours will be held Today Tuesday, November 22, 2016 from 5-7 pm at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home 3175 East Genesee St. Syracuse. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 Am on Wednesday November 23 at All Saints Church, Lancaster Ave. Syracuse. To leave a message of condolence to the family please visit www.burnsgarfield.com