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Philomena "Lena" Spagnola Heslan

Friday, January 25, 2013 - Updated: 5:31 PM

January 23, 2013

Philomena "Lena" Spagnola Heslan passed away peacefully on January 23, 2013. She was a resident of River Ridge Living Center.

Born on November 16, 1912, Lena recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

The eldest daughter of the late Antimo and Elvina Spagnola, Lena worked at Fownes Brothers for many years. She was a glove maker and then became a supervisor.

On May 12, 1952, she married Edward J. Heslan who passed away on December 30, 1979.

Lena will be remembered for the beauty and grace she carried within her every day. She was always ready for a good card game, a cross country trip to Las Vegas to see Tom Jones, and spending time with her family and friends. Lena loved children and treated each child as if they were her own, especially her nieces and nephews. The memories with those she loved will be forever in our hearts.

Survivors include her sisters, Olga Cisaretti and Jean Sheckton, both of Amsterdam. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews, and friends. In addition to her parents and husband, Lena was preceded in death by her brothers, Louie Spagnola, Angelo Spagnola, and Reynold Spagnola, and her sisters, Pat Cataffo, Elizabeth "Teddy" Gaetano, and Evelyn Zumbolo.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Friday (today), 9:15 a.m. at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, 156 East Main St., Amsterdam, N.Y.

A private interment will be held at St. Michael's Cemetery.

Donations can be made to St. Jude's Children Research Hospital, P.O. Box 3704, Memphis, TN, 38103 or a charity of one's choice. Donations can also be mailed in care of Betz, Rossi, and Bellinger Family Funeral Home, 171 Guy Park Ave., Amsterdam, N.Y., 12010. Please visit and sign the family's guestbook at


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