Helen Malinowski

Obituary of Helen Malinowski

Helen (Dumyahn) Malinowski, passed away suddenly on Sunday, June 4, 2023, with her loving family by her side.  She leaves a legacy of care, love, and compassion to her family, friends, and neighbors.

Helen, one of five children born to Clarence and Mary (Strametz) Dumyahn, was born in Joliet and attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School and St. Francis Academy. She received an Associate’s Degree from Joliet Junior College where she discovered an interest in Biochemistry. She was proud of completing her Medical Lab Technology training program from St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin in 1956. Helen went to work as a medical lab technologist at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, starting a career that lasted for four decades. She met Donald Malinowski, and they were married in 1959. Helen and Don raised four children, frequently socializing with family, friends, and neighbors at their home for many happy years. Helen was well known as the expert baker in the neighborhood – baking homemade cookies, potica, and strudel for her close friends – using recipes passed down from her mother Mary. She was devoted to her young family’s success in school and activities. But she loved her profession enough to continue working part-time, finally retiring after working for Dr. Nikols at his clinic as his lab technician.


Helen and her husband loved the outdoors, joining the Coal City Area Club as founding members where they spent countless days hosting picnics and beach days for friends and family. 52 years ago, they began a tradition of annual summer vacations to the beautiful lakes of the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Michigan U.P. Many family stories from those trips still bring back laughter for the Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and friends who joined her on the annual trek north.


Helen loved chatting with the neighbors, the sun on her face, a Sunday afternoon of music and dancing at St. Joe’s Park, a good novel, but she was most thrilled to watch her favorite team, the Chicago Bulls – attending Bulls games well into her 70’s. She was always happiest to enjoy simple conversations over coffee and bakery. Helen loved hosting the annual White Fence Farm Christmas dinner for her extended family because of the joy it brought to all those who gathered together.

Helen believed in living an honest life and treating others with respect and understanding. She prayed, worshipped, and sang at her Parish church, St. Paul’s, and she enjoyed cheering her children’s school teams. Then she continued her activities at the Paulites seniors group at the Parish.  Helen was truly engaged with her family – from her generation all the way to her sweet great- granddaughters who brought the biggest smile to her face. She always put others before herself. She said the greatest present she ever received was the simple, quiet time of a talk on the backyard swing. Helen will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved her. All the memories made during her life will stay with us all and give us peace.


Left to cherish Helen’s memory are her children, Daniel (Laura), Janet, David (Kathe) Malinowski and Cyndee McMullen; her grandchildren, Anna (Trent) Feeney, Mary (Ben) Steffes, Julia (Isaac) Grashoff, Michael, Matthew (Meara), Ryan, Jill Malinowski, and Audrey and Clare McMullen; her great-grandchildren, Violette Steffes and Margot Feeney, and two more on the way.  She is also survived by her sister, Lois (the late Ronald) Smith; and sister-in-law, Rita (the late Bernie) Dumyahn; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, John and Jean Keigher, William and Deb Malinowski, and Rich and Pat Malinowski. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins also survive.


She is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 45 years, Donald J. Malinowski; her parents; and her siblings, Clarence “Butch”, Gilbert, and Bernie Dumyahn; sister-in-law, Carol (Malinowski) Fabek .


The family would like to thank her caregivers Lucile Triplitt, Charrie Elumba, and Lauren Vidican, who provided comfort and support to Helen. Thanks to Dr. Chris Kolyvas, MD; and all those who helped to keep Helen healthy so she could stay with her family for so many years.


Funeral Services for Helen M. Malinowski will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Fred C. Dames Funeral Home, 3200 Black Rd., (at Essington Rd.), Joliet, IL, to St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 18 Woodlawn Avenue, Joliet, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Romeoville. Visitation will take place Friday, June 16, 2023, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Funeral Home.


In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School or to Easterseals Joliet Region, Inc.


For more information, please call (815) 741-5500 or visit her Memorial Tribute at www.fredcdames.com where  you can share a favorite memory or leave an online condolence.



3:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, June 16, 2023
Fred C. Dames Funeral Homes - Joliet
3200 Black at Essington Roads
Joliet, Illinois, United States
(815) 741-5500

Funeral Service

10:00 am
Saturday, June 17, 2023
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church
18 Woodlawn Avenue
Joliet, Illinois, United States


Resurrection Cemetery, Romeoville
Rt. 53 and W. 135th Street
Romeoville, Illinois, United States

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School or to Easterseals Joliet Region, Inc.