Helen Dora Cleinman
GILBERTSVILLE — Helen Dora Cleinman, of Gilbertsville, has passed away Feb. 12, 2014, following a long and eventful life. She was 85.
Born in 1929, in Island Park, Helen left school after eighth- grade to attend business school and take a job as a telephone operator.
In 1946, she married Max Cleinman, a D-Day veteran in the U.S. Navy. From 1946 to 1959, Helen and Max, and their growing family lived in Levittown, Providence, R.I., and on a small farm near Edmeston, until finally settling in Gilbertsville in 1960.
In 1961, Helen and Max opened the Sweet Shop in Gilbertsville. The Sweet Shop became the Value Way Grocery around 1963. Helen ran the grocery with her husband, Max until his passing in 1987. In 1990, Helen retired from the Value Way to fully focus on her other passion, antiques. While the Value Way was growing, Helen, along with sister, Marga and mother, Dora ran Valley View Antiques. Once housed in the old barn on her family property, the Antique Shop moved into the Gilbert Block, next to the Value Way around 1970. Juggling both grocery and antique shop, as well as being an active member of the Gilbertsville community, Helen was kept very busy for nearly 40 years. After selling the Value Way in 1990, the Antique Shop moved into Old Hickory, a multi-dealer store in Bainbridge. For almost two decades Helen was a frequent fixture at antique shows throughout New York State where she would display her unique collectibles. After retiring from business she entered a relationship with Jim Maerz. The two traveled frequently across the country to sight-see, and play slots at various casinos. After Jim’s passing in 2005, Helen spent quiet days at home, and winters at her son Edward’s home in Mesa, Ariz. She enjoyed crosswords, Facebook and visits from friends.
Helen finally succumbed to a lengthy battle with lung disease on the snowy evening of Feb. 12.