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Helen V. Elam

Henrietta: October 6, 2023 at age 94. Predeceased by her parents John and Apollonia Vollmer, husband, James W. Elam, brothers, Jimmy Vollmer (Lillian), John “Jack” Vollmer (Vera), Paul Vollmer (May), sisters-in law, Sally Trout (Bob) and Mary McNamara (Bernie), brother-in law, David Elam and life-long childhood friend, Rosemary Norton. Helen is survived by her children, James D. Elam, Mary Beth (Jay) Prosnitz and Helen Maeve (Ben) Mac An Tuile; grandchildren, Aaron (Hilary) Prosnitz and Daniel (Mounifa) Prosnitz; great-grandchildren, David, Elizabeth and Sarah Prosnitz; sisters-in law, Kathy Saetta (Mike) Sharon Commisso (Jim) and Loetta Elam; step-grandchildren, Tanya and Aidan Finn; special God-daughter and niece, Deirdre Dalton; many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Helen grew up in the South Wedge of Rochester, NY and was part of the St. Boniface parish. She attended Sacred Heart Academy and graduated in the class of ’47. Afterwards, Helen went to Nazareth College where she earned a BS degree in Secretarial Science. She worked for the Dept. of Social Services until she married James W. Elam in 1953. The happy couple welcomed their first child, Jimmy in 1954 at which time Helen became a stay at home mom for several years.

In 1959, the Elam family moved to Henrietta, the town that her father grew up in. Helen’s husband taught her to drive in 1966. Once their youngest child was in school, she decided to go back to work. Helen worked PT as a secretary in the RH school district and then landed her FT job as Secretary to the Head of the Information Services Dept. at Monroe Community College in 1974. In 1980, Helen formed the MCC Secretarial Association.

In 1994, Helen retired from MCC after 20 yrs. of service. Not one to sit around eating bon-bons after retiring, although her love of chocolate and sweets were well-known and remained with her until the end, Helen founded the Henrietta Historical Society. She also was part of the committee that created the Antoinette Brown-Blackwell Society to honor the First Women Minister in the US that resided in Henrietta (her homestead still remains and is on the historic register). Helen also supported the Susan B. Anthony house located on the same street that her mother grew up on. In 1990, Helen became the Town Historian of Henrietta. During this time, she wrote many articles on the history of Henrietta that were often featured in the Henrietta Post publication. In 2006, Helen wrote a historical book on Henrietta entitled “Images of America – Henrietta”. In 2010, Helen retired from the Town Historian position, but continued to support the historic preservation of Henrietta, the town she dearly loved for many years beyond.

Helen’s hobbies included art, bridge club, church, dancing, decorating, entertaining, fashion, gardening (belonged to the Henrietta Garden Club) , humor, laughter, music, reading, shopping, socializing, supporting women’s rights, traveling and writing; but most of all her family, friends, peace love & understanding!

The family would like to thank the staff at Cranberry Landing where Helen called home for the past 4 years and the dedicated staff at Livingston County CNR where Helen resided since June of this year and lived out her final days.

Family and friends may call at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, 3325 Winton Road S., Saturday, October 14, 2023 from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Interment private. Kindly consider donations to Antoinette Brown Blackwell Scholarship Fund in Helen’s memory.

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