Helen Madelane (DeMeo) Olivo, age 91, of Waltham, MA, passed away at 3:44pm on Monday, June 7, 2021 – ten years to the day after her late older sister, Rose Rizzo – at St. André Health Care in Biddeford, ME.
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Helen was born on February 28, 1930, in Waltham, a daughter of the late Michelina (Guglielmo) DeMeo and Salvatore DeMeo.
Though two of her older siblings died at young ages prior to her birth, Helen grew up as the second youngest of seven. Her mother passed away when she was only seven years old, and Helen, as well as her brothers and sisters, were nurtured by her eldest sister, Kay, as their guiding force.
Her astute and calm disposition could have revealed she was an Honor Roll student all four years at Waltham Senior High School, where she mastered in Business and Stenography. She brought her talents to the then affluent Jordan’s Furniture Co. Not only was she performing admin office duties, but she was also a primary caretaker for little Barry and Eliot Jordan – now well known to television and radio audiences for their distinctive advertisements.
In 1950, she married James Olivo and together they bore three daughters. As an attentive mother and homemaker, she demonstrated kindness and passed-on core family and spiritual values to her entire family. Helen lived a focused spiritual life. For many years she served as a Girl Scout leader in her community.
After her 26-year marriage and subsequent divorce in 1976, Helen found companionship with John Standish, and later Patrick McDonough, with whom she shared many happy years of laughter, dancing and travel in their retirement.
She worked in the secretarial and administrative business sector for Waltham's Precision Instruments, Inc., and then just prior to retirement, she served as the Administrative Assistant to the Director of the Weston Public Library for nearly two decades. She loved to stay involved and active, and at age 74 she retired, only because it seemed to be the time.
Helen’s eloquent dance of life extended beyond the competitive dance floor. Despite many challenges and adversities over the years, she danced through life with poise and distinction, holding her head up in full faith that God was lighting her path. Though gentle in nature, her seamless transitions and life transformations flowed with strength, precision and intention.
Through thick and thin, Mom, Ma, Nana, was deeply devoted to her family and extended to everyone she knew and met a sense of peace, as she reflected respect, acceptance and wisdom. She was a spirited woman that embodied virtues of Christ and Scripture. As a devoted follower of God and member of Sacred Heart Church, she volunteered and was also a heavenly voice in the church choir.
She enjoyed ballroom dancing, sewing, homemaking, hosting family gatherings for her children and grandchildren, traveling and many activities at the Waltham Community Center with her best friend Mary Caramanica. Among other things, the inseparable two swam at the boy’s club, had dinners at Grassfields, and danced away at Wonderland.
It was her kind and gentle nature to welcome her grandchildren with genuine love and offerings of games and treats to delight their young spirits. She often sat with them to read and play at their level, among many instances of teaching her passion for the Word of God.
Helen was preceded in death by her ex-husband, James Olivo; five sisters, Anna DeMeo, Jay Cardillo, Kay DeMeo, Margaret Quinlan, Rose Rizzo; two brothers, Albert DeMeo and Joe DeMeo; and companions, John Standish and Patrick McDonough.
Helen is survived by her younger sister, Doloras Grandinetti of Watertown, MA; her three daughters and son-in-law, Helen (Olivo) Begley of Naples, FL, Rosemarie (Olivo) Chicco and her husband Marc Chicco of Biddeford, ME, and Christine (Olivo) Kelley and partner Kevin Beaulieu of Webster, MA; eight grandchildren, Jennifer Pilicy, Edward James Pilicy and his wife Katherine Reynolds, Elizabeth Pilicy, Jessica Chicco, Anthony Chicco, Charlie Fisher, and Samantha Kelley; seven great grandchildren, Terran Mazzaglia, Garrett Roberts, Dakota Pilicy, Brynn Roberts, Edward John Pilicy, Brady Clarke, and Elijah Pilicy. She additionally leaves many other family members and cherished friends with whom she has shared extraordinary life experiences. Our loving and devoted mother, nana, and friend to all whose lives she touched, is remembered as a beautifully loving soul delivered to God’s Kingdom of Heaven.
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at Sacred Heart Church, with Father Ronald Gomes officiating her Celebration of Life Mass and her eulogy will be delivered by her eldest granddaughter, Jennifer. Her ashes shall be spread in her memory according to her wishes. Condolences may be sent to the family at Brasco & Sons Memorial Chapels Located at 773 Moody St. Waltham, Ma.02453.