Helen Irene Vernsey, age 89, of Jupiter, FL, and a long time resident of Ogdensburg, passed away on Friday, February 10, 2012 at Jupiter Medical Center-Pavilion in Jupiter, FL, under the care of Hospice of Palm Beach County. A funeral mass of Christian burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cathedral at an undetermined date in July 2012, followed by a celebration of her life at one of her favorite places or at her son’s house on the St. Lawrence River. There will be no calling hours. Arrangements are with Frary Funeral Home.
Helen is survived by five sons, Robert J. and companion Kimberly Doboze of Port St. Lucie, FL, Gary and Patty of North Port, FL, Chuck and Christine of Park City, UT, Tim and Linda of Ogdensburg and Mike and Bonnie of Jupiter, FL; her precious grandchildren, David, Terry, Libby, Michael, Allen, Della, Richie, Jarrod, Lexia, Jade, Jason, Jon, and Jaret, Kimberly’s children Amy, Jennifer, and Adam, and Bonnie’s children Lisa, Danielle and Vanessa; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Helen was predeceased by her loving husband, Leon J. Vernsey on November 15, 2005; Leon’s sister, Cora Vernsey Oakes; brothers Steve, John and Louis Almasy; sisters Margaret LaBarge, Katherine “Kate” Cseledi and Mary Pircsuk; and daughter-in-law Jacqueline Jean Vernsey on March 3,1990.
Helen was born in Norfolk, on February 3, 1923, the daughter of Antal Almasy and Mary Colb Almasy. Helen attended Norfolk schools and married Leon Vernsey on October 3, 1944 at the Church of the Visitation in Norfolk, NY. Together, they operated Andy’s Restaurant in Norfolk from 1944-1946 where she introduced her famous cabbage rolls to the North Country. Later they moved to Ogdensburg and purchased the Hawaiian Rendezvous and opened what was to become an Ogdensburg landmark, Oscar’s, the name of Leon’s father.
After approximately ten years, Oscar’s was sold to Joe and Sam Cavallario. Mr. and Mrs. Vernsey then opened and operated a wholesale beer distributorship until 1971. In October 1972, they opened another restaurant, The Brewery, which they operated until their retirement in 1982. Helen and Leon loved many Sunday afternoon gatherings with family and friends at their cottage on the St. Lawrence River. Helen loved to escape North Country winters to her home in Florida where she socialized with friends and enjoyed cooking and gardening.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ogdensburg Boys & Girls Club.