Mrs. Helena Liolin, 90, the beloved mother of His Grace, Bishop Nikon of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America; the Very Rev. Arthur Liolin, chancellor of the Albanian Archdiocese; and Mr. James Liolin, fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday, June 2, 2007.
Born and raised in Worcester, MA, Mrs. Liolin distinguished herself as an accomplished singer of light opera after pursuing studies in voice at Boston’s New England Conservatiory of Music. In the 1930’s, her concerts at the Worcester Auditorium received rave reviews by music critics. As a founder member of the “Golden Strings” ensemble, she had helped to awaken an appreciation for Balkan music before it became fashionable decades later. As a coloratura soprano, her recordings of Verdi, Puccini, Gilbert and Sullivan, as well as popular favorites, were aired on weekly radio programs right through the 1990s.
In 1941, following her marriage to the late Evans J. Liolin of Long Island, NY, her career turned to applying her musical talents and energies in numerous ways as a long-time activist in New York’s Albanian community, participating in fraternal, patriotic, and cutural organizations. She organized the first choir for Saint Nicholas Church in Manhattan and later in Jamaica Estates, LI, which she directed for over 30 years.
Known for her engaging personality, charm, and forthright manner, she was an advocate of human rights and religious freedom both here and abroad, as well as advancing the Albanian identity and its culture in the US. She also served as an interpreter in the NY judicial system and operated a music studio, where she taught over 100 young students during the 1950s and 60s.
In addition to her three sons, Mrs. Liolin is survived by eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Mrs. Liolin will lie in state at Saint George Cathedral, 523 East Broadway, South Boston, MA, on Tuesday, June 5 from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. A wake will be held on Thursday, June 7, from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m at New Hyde Park Funeral Home, 506 Lakeville Road, New Hyde Hyde Park, Long Island, NY.
Funeral services will be held Saint Nicholas Church, 181-14 Midland Parkway, Jamaica Estates, NY on Friday, June 8 at 9:30 AM. Interment will follow at Mount Tomorri at Cypress Hills Cemetery, Queens, NY.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Saint George Cathedral, 523 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127, or to Saint Nicholas Church, 181-14 Midland Parkway, Jamaica
Estates, NY 11432.
May Mrs. Liolin’s memory be eternal!