Music 27


Helen Jonica (Grabber) Blakeslee

April 18, 1928 ~ March 1, 2019 (age 90)

Helen Jonica (Grabber) Blakeslee, 90, a lifelong resident of Lebanon, beloved wife of Russell of 70 years, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family, on Friday, March 1, 2019. Born April 18, 1928, at Windham Hospital.  She was the daughter of the late Frank and Helen (Spafford) Grabber. Jonica was a woman of many talents. Throughout the course of her life, she worked side by side with her husband, Russell, on the farm, and as a dairy tester for DHIA, a school bus driver for the Lebanon Public School System, and owner operator of S&J Lawn Care.  Jonica also volunteered her time helping her community by serving as past Vice chairman for the Lebanon Republican Town Committee.  Jonica had a passion for and was well known for singing. She sang well into the last few years of her life as member of the First Baptist Church of Lebanon.  Previously she was the organist and choir director at the Goshen Congregational Church of Lebanon for 40 years and in the earlier years she and her husband were members of the First Congregational Church of Lebanon.  In addition to her loving husband, Russell, she leaves three children and their spouses, Laurene and Thomas Clark of Corinna, ME, Sandra Blakeslee and Linda Finelli and Frank and Amy Blakeslee, all of Lebanon. She is predeceased by one son, Kevin Blakeslee. She has nine grandchildren, Robert, Diana, TW, Jesse, Terra, Kyle, Lillian, Emilia, and Helen; and eleven great grandchildren.  Jonica leaves four sisters, Gretchen Lathrop, Virginia Strenkowski, Dawn Drum all of Lebanon, and Cheryl Cavanaugh of Missouri. She is predeceased by two brothers, Spafford and Henry Grabber.  The family will receive guests 3-5 pm Saturday, (March 9, 2019) at Aurora-McCarthy Funeral Home, 167 Old Hartford Road, Colchester. A memorial service will be observed at 2 pm Sunday, (March 10, 2019) at the First Baptist Church, 694 Trumbull Hwy, Lebanon. Burial will be private, at a later date, in the Center Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the First Baptist Church of Lebanon.

Donations may be made to:

First Baptist Church of Lebanon
P.O. Box 231, Lebanon CT 06249

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