Helen Hattie Riska, 91, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 27, 2013, in Kalispell, Mont.
She was born Aug. 14, 1921, in Johnston, N.Y., to Henry and Pauline (Masarik) Billa.
She completed eighth grade, then started working to help support her family. She worked as a glove-maker in Johnston.
On Oct. 14, 1939, Helen married Joseph F. Riska. They were blessed with three children. She was very proud to have 12 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
After retiring from more than 30 years as an employee of Kirsch Manufacturing Company in Sturgis, Helen enjoyed traveling, making peanut brittle, crocheting, playing cards and dominoes. She was a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the hospital auxiliary, a member of the Altar Society and president of the PTA for St. Patrick’s Catholic School.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Joseph; brothers Edward and Robert Billa; sisters Betty Hall, Louise Pavlik, Dolores Miller and Hattie Billa (who died as an infant); and a son-in-law O.J. Sova.
Helen is survived by her siblings, Henry “Hank” Billa and Judy Voorhees; sister-in-law Irene Colton; brother-in-law Bill Riska; her children, Jack Riska (Barb) of Missoula, Mont., Sally Sova of Kalispell Mont., Joe Riska (Angelita) of Kalispell, Mont.; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday, July 8, at Holy Trinity Church in Johnstown, N.Y., with internment following at St. Anthony’s cemetery.
Suggested memorials are Risen Christ Parish in Evergreen, Mont., Holy Trinity Church in Johnstown, Aurisville Shrine or St. Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine in New York.