Longtime Westport resident and restaurateur, Helen Steele, died on Sunday, September 8, 2013, at a Tacoma nursing home at the age of 91. She was born in Hartford, Conn. on February 7, 1922, the daughter of Harry and Mercina (Demos) Cotton. The family came to West Seattle the following year and Helen graduated from West Seattle High School in 1940.
Helen worked for a Seattle furrier in the 1940’s and met Frederick “Freddie” Steele there in 1948. They were married in 1950. Freddie would buy and sell timber and they lived on Whidbey Island and Sedro-Wooley before they came to Westport in 1960, establishing Freddie Steele’s Restaurant. Freddie died in 1984 and Helen continued to operate the restaurant until 1991.
She was a volunteer at the Westport Maritime Museum and had traveled to Greece, a cruise on the Mississippi River, to England and around many places in the United States. She also wintered several years in Las Vegas. Helen was a member of the Daughters of Penelope, a Greek Orthodox ladies auxiliary.
Helen is survived by two daughters, Frederika “Sue” Thomas of Tacoma and Kathryn “Kathy” (Andrew) Pettibon of University Place; two sisters, Mary Rutter of Nortland, Wash. and Olga Skinner of West Seattle; and also two grandchildren, Matthew Thomas and Noah Pettibon. A brother, Demetrius “Jim” Katsikapes, preceded her in death.
A graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, 2013, in Fern Hill Cemetery. Father Seraphimm of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Tacoma, will be the celebrant. A reception will follow at the Westport Inn, 2501 N. Nyhus St., Westport.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the Westport Maritime Museum, 2201 Westhaven Dr., Westport, WA 98595 or The South Beach Ambulance Service, 170 W. Spokane Ave., Westport, WA 98595
A card of condolence with a message or a memory may be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Fern Hill Funeral Home, Aberdeen.