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Helen Sasala Downs

Obituary for Helen Sasala Downs

August 14, 2019


Helen Sasala Downs, 94, died on August 14 at Pickering Manor Home in Newtown, PA, where she had resided for the previous eight years. She was a long-time resident of the North Park section of Levittown, PA.

Born in Dupont, PA, Helen grew up in Girard and Erie, graduating from Strong Vincent High School in Erie, PA in 1942.

Helen was a Registered Nurse and worked in local hospitals, private duty nursing and as a school nurse in the Pennsbury School District. She trained and served in the Cadet Nurse Corps during WWII graduating in 1947. She worked as a Registered Nurse at multiple locations including Temple University Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Helene Fuld Hospital and Trenton Mercer Hospital. She also worked as a private duty nurse and as a staff member for the American Red Cross in the Southeastern PA Chapter.

As a working mother, Helen majored in nursing and graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1972. Helen loved her career as a School Nurse for the Pennsbury School District where she was assigned to various schools including Bishop Conwell High School, St. Michael the Archangel School, St. Joseph the Worker School, Eleanor Roosevelt Elementary, Walt Disney Elementary and Penn Valley Elementary Schools. Helen was a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the National Education Association and the National Association of School Nurses.

Helen was a parishioner of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Levittown for more than 50 years. She was a member of the Red Hat Society and the Core Creek Ladies Investment club. A proponent of lifelong education and an avid reader, she enjoyed history, politics, and business subjects. She also enjoyed attending the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, MD.

Helen was the daughter of the late John and Katherine Machuga Sasala and the loving wife of Thomas D. Downs who preceded her in death in 2001. She was the devoted and much-beloved mother of William and his wife Dr. Simone Downs of Tiburon, CA, Gregory and his wife Nora Downs of Newtown, PA and Dr. Judy Downs and her husband Steven Johnson of Herndon, VA. She was the proud grandmother of Connor and Cole Johnson of Herndon, VA.

Relatives and Friends are invited to Helen's Life Celebration on Monday, August 19 at the Swartz Givnish Funeral Home , 323 Washington Ave, Newtown, PA with a prayer service at 6 PM and visitation from 6 to 8 pm.
Visitation on Tuesday is from 9 - 10 AM at the Swartz Givnish Funeral Homeā€¬,, 323 Washington Ave, Newtown, PA.
Mass of the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Tuesday at 11 AM at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church, 1773 Woodbourne Road, Levittown, PA 19057. Interment will follow in Newtown Cemetery, Newtown, PA. Memorial contributions in Helen's name may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church, 1773 Woodbourne Road, Levittown, PA 19057.

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Swartz-Givnish Funeral Home, Inc.

323 East Washington Avenue
Newtown, PA 18940
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