Helena Silberstein, a Woodstock resident for over two decades, passed away peacefully with her two daughters at her side on September 1, 2020. She was born on October 16, 1936, in Paris, France, to Lazar and Sosia Veber. She was the older of two siblings.
Helena moved from Paris to Detroit, Michigan in 1955, and then to California seven years later, where she lived for thirty-three years. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Los Angeles with a major in French literature and a minor in Psychology.
Helena was a lover and aficionado of opera, classical music, and the fine arts. She self-described herself as not liking housekeeping, preferring instead to spend her time reading, listening to opera, and doing word games. She was full of wisdom and knowledge about many topics.
For a number of years in her 60s and 70s, Helena gave generously to local nonprofits whose work she saw helping the community and the world. She greatly appreciated living in the United States, and loved the Multnomah County Library and Portland-area Tri Met transportation systems. In the early 2000s she attended "Write Around Portland" workshops, and was featured on community television sharing her thoughts and observations about life.
Helena's numerous health conditions restricted her activities in later years, but she still enjoyed concerts, and walking daily to the bus to visit various senior centers for lunch and socializing.
Before her death, she had a number of profound but also playful thoughts and conversations with her daughters, while she was in Kaiser Sunnyside Hospice for ten days and then in hospice at Sue Miller's Elder House in Milwaukie. She shared childhood memories of her dreams of flying, wanting to learn to ice skate, to folk dance, to play the oboe, and to spend more time in European gardens with flowers in bloom.
Helena was preceded in death by her husband, Josef Silberstein, and she is survived by her daughters Amy and Brigitte, both of California. No service will be held.