Helen (Elena) Rose (Mattioli) Testa, passed away at age 97 on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
Born on August 22, 1923, and raised in Akron, she lived her life for her family, her love of singing, and her career as the devoted head of her home. Helen’s life was enriched by her marriage of 53 years to her late beloved husband Michael Armant Testa.
She took pride in her career as a Wife, Mother, Grandmother, and Great-Grandmother.
Preceded in death by her beloved husband, Michael; parents, Ceasar and Jennie Mattioli; sister and brother-in-law, MaryJo and Dominic Fugarino; brothers, Billy Mattioli, Bobby Mattioli; brother and sister-in-law, Tony and Margaret Testa; brother and sister-in-law, Dan and Alice Testa; and brother-in-law, Frank Zupancic.
Helen is survived by her six children, Marie (Steve) Clem, Paul (Kathie) Testa, Loretta (Jim) Allen, Margaret (Tony) Lovell, Joseph Testa, and Carolyn (John) Durkin; grandchildren, Joel (Cassie) Testa, Todd (Patricia) Baranek, Krista Dobronos, Julie (Jim) Thomasson, Brian Ahern, Michael (Kathryn) Allen, Patrick Ahern (Claire Cottel), Alicia Durkin, Daniel Allen, Nick Durkin, Amy Allen (JC Gulch), and Shannon (Eric) Testa-Howsley; great-grandchildren, Zoe, Giovanni & Sofia Testa, Elena, Kayla & Joseph Dobronos, Dominic & Amara Baranek, Cooper & Sydney Thomasson, Rayna Gulch; sisters-in-law, Nancy (Mattioli) Tafuri, and Loretta Zupancic, and many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
From a young age Helen was passionate about her singing, which was as beautiful as Helen herself. She performed at school and civic concerts throughout the Akron area as a young girl, later taking pride in serving as soloist for her church, St. Anthony’s, singing for weddings, funerals, and numerous church functions. Her voice was a perfect pitch mezzo soprano that was unmatched in her community. She received an interview at Radio City New York for a vocalist position, but decided instead to accept the wedding proposal from the love of her life, Mike, and remain in Akron. Mike presented her with the gift of a diary in September of 1941, which she used to memorialize so many happy moments throughout her entire life. Mike and Helen were wedded in Holy Matrimony on October 21, 1944.
Helen was an amazing mother of six children. As the perpetual host for gatherings of family and friends, all were welcome at the Testa table. Whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Helen’s cooking and baking were amazing and the house always spotless. Her appreciation of music led her to playing the piano and organ, always filling the lives of her family with music. A consummate perfectionist, Helen enjoyed so much the pursuit of success in whatever she set her mind to including working at the Goodyear Tire Company, volunteering at Saint Anthony’s school cafeteria, and working with two of her close friends in a catering business. And in the end after all her many accomplishments in life, her most prized successes call her “Mom”.
Our family thanks the medical community and caregivers for the excellent and loving care Mom was given in her final months and days.
The celebration of her life will be a Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, September 28, 2020 at 11:00 am. The family will receive guests from 9:30 am at St Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 4019 Manchester Road, Akron OH. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in the Testa name to the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank 350 Opportunity Parkway, Akron, OH 44307-2234.
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