2013-02-21 / Obituaries

Helen (Saraiva) Sallum

Helen (Saraiva) Sallum, 86, departed this life on Feb. 12, 2013. Helen was the loving wife of 60 years of the late Rev. Wilson G. Sallum. She was a woman of integrity, strong faith, elegance and style. She dedicated her life to helping others. Helen was an inspiration to all she met.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Helen was a graduate of Mackenzie College in Sao Paulo. She was then a translator for the American consulate general, where she received several awards for commendable service from the U.S. State Department. In 1957, Helen and Wilson emigrated from Brazil with their family and made their home in Fall River, Mass., where Wilson was a pastor. For many years, Helen was a bilingual parent community liaison for the Fall River public schools and translated Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure into Portuguese.

After her children were raised, Helen continued her education and received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s from Brown University. She was also the coordinator of the Portuguese Cultural Festival at Bristol Community College, which attracted more than 30,000 visitors. Helen was repeatedly recognized for her service in the Portuguese and bilingual communities. She retired and moved to Jamestown in 2000 at the age of 74.

In her retirement, Helen wrote books for children that taught and reinforced good habits. Recently, in 2012, she published her first book, “A Matter of Choice.”

Helen was a woman of stalwart faith and a beaming smile, and was an active member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown where she served on the vestry and pastoral care committees.

She enjoyed baking and delighted her family and friends with her delicious cakes. She went to the gym daily, practiced yoga, and looked forward to her weekly visits to Catherine Jamieson Salon. Helen was also a world traveler, and, for her 85th birthday, fulfilled her lifelong dream of taking a cruise to Alaska. She loved her home in Jamestown and her independence. She could often be seen driving her champagne Jetta around town. To know her was to love her. She led an exemplary life.

She was the daughter of the late Propercio and Emily (Pupo Nogueira) Saraiva. She is survived by her two younger sisters, Lucia daSilva and Isa Taylor. Helen will be dearly missed by her son, Wilson S. Sallum and wife Gail R. Sallum of Tiverton, and her daughter, Marcia S. Sallum of Jamestown. She was the proud and magical “vovo” of six grandchildren: Ulysses W. Sallum, Ph.D., and wife Rachel, Christine O. Sallum, Ph.D., Stephanie E. Sallum, Alison E. Glassie and husband David Johnson, Georgia F. Glassie, and the late Jacquelin C. Glassie; a great-granddaughter, Virginia Sallum, as well as a large extended family in Brazil.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 317, Jamestown, RI 02835.

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