SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA Helen E. Schnabel, age 92, of Scottsdale, AZ and long time resident of Braintree, MA departed this life on December 4th, 2018. For 59 years, Helen was the much beloved wife of Paul F. Schnabel of Braintree, MA and Scottsdale, AZ. She was the devoted Mother of Paul T. Schnabel of Scottsdale, caring mother- in-law of Jody (Noack) Schnabel and the loving Grandma of Austin Paul Schnabel.
Helen was a fighter and a survivor. She lost a baby sister when she was 6, lost her Mother at 8, her father only found occasional work due to injuries he suffered during World War 1 and her family lost their home during the depression. As she reached her mid 80's, she still insisted on walking 30 minutes each way to the supermarket and to carry her groceries back home. She could never understand why so many people would stop to ask if she needed a ride! She was also a cancer survivor, enduring a mastectomy as an outpatient procedure at age 87. She was disappointed when radiation treatment ended because she 'would miss all her friends at the oncology center."
Helen was a graduate of South Boston High School, and immediately joined the war effort as a welder of B-24 and P-38 aircraft. Helen met Paul, her husband of 59 years at work after the war, and they moved from South Boston to Braintree in 1953. In 2005, they moved to Arizona to be near to their only child, daughter in law and grandson.
Helen was outgoing and kind to everyone she met, and in her later years loved to regale people with stories about growing up in "Southie" and her work during the war. She was proud of her contributions to the war effort and would always say, "I'm not Rosie the Riveter, I'm Winnie the Welder!".
Even though dementia took away many of her memories recently, she still had a smile for everyone, loved her family deeply and had an abiding faith in God. May she rest in peace!
A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, December 11th at 10:00 in the morning at St. Patrick’s Church, 10815 N 84th St, Scottsdale, AZ. Burial will follow immediately afterwards at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, AZ.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.