Helen E. Przybylski, 90, weekly newspaper editor

September 10, 2001|By Lisa Goldberg | Lisa Goldberg,SUN STAFF

Helen E. Przybylski, a lifelong Canton resident who worked her way up from proofreader to assistant editor and columnist for an East Baltimore weekly newspaper, died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Center of complications from a stroke. She was 90.

Born Helen Elizabeth Novak in Baltimore, she was a housewife until the death of her husband, Leon, in 1965. With her youngest child in high school, Mrs. Przybylski began working as a proofreader for the East Baltimore Guide and the Catholic Review.

During her approximately 15-year tenure at the Guide, she became assistant editor, writing a community "tidbits" gossip column, said her daughter, Mary M. Eckhardt of Canton.

"She was a very gentle, very friendly lady who took a great pride in knowing all these different people and knowing what was going on," said her daughter-in-law, Barbara Przybylski.

H. Milton Lasson, the paper's longtime publisher, who sold the weekly in the early 1990s, recalled Mrs. Przybylski as "well-known" in the community and "well-liked." He said he and his wife had stayed in touch with her after her retirement.

Mr. Lasson's daughter, Betsy Chanales, called the East Baltimore Guide a link between residents and the communities. "People just waited for the paper to come out each week and she played a real role in that, a real connection for people," she said.

Because Mrs. Przybylski did not drive, she walked to work on South Conkling Street -- which was a factor in her decision to retire in about 1980, Ms. Eckhardt said.

After her retirement, Mrs. Przybylski spent time taking care of her house and traveling to see Broadway shows. She loved to do crossword puzzles and was an avid viewer of television's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? -- delighting in the fact that she often knew more answers than the contestants, her daughter said.

She was a longtime member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on South Conkling Street.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. today at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Przybylski is survived by a son, Leon Przybylski of Belair-Edison; a sister, Marie Watcheski of the Baltimore area; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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