Helen McLaughlin Shelin Sama passed away at the age of 99 on May 26th, 2018
She was a modest, kind and intensely loyal matriarch always wearing a smile. She left behind three children, Kenneth Shelin and grandchildren Amanda Cloutier, Bill Shelin, and Amy Primorac, Barbara Johnson and grandchildren Dean, Jimmy and Mark Cherrix, and Donna Marley and granddaughter Beth McClure. She is survived by numerous great and great great grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews from the Sama, DeVito, DiPietro, Menendez and Albertini families from her second marriage.
Helen had deep roots in the New Castle and Chester County areas dating from the second half of the 1600s being descended from early Quaker settlers attracted by William Penn’s creation of a tolerant and accepting home for his fellow Quakers. She lived their tolerance for diversity.
Helen was the daughter of Thomas and Ella McLaughlin, who predeceased her, as well as two brothers, Charles and James McLaughlin. After the collapse of her first marriage to Kenneth Shelin, Helen, to support her three young children, took her first job at the old W T Grant store at 7th & Market Streets in downtown Wilmington. Very quickly thereafter, she began a long career as a lab technician for the DuPont Co and worked in textile research at Chestnut Run. Her second very successful, and happy marriage, was to James Sama, that union lasting for 62 years until his death on 11/8/2016 at the age of 102.
Helen enjoyed an 80 year membership in the Improved Order of Red Men. She also participated for many years in the local chapter of the Women’s Benefit/North American Benefit Association. She was a trusting soul who believed strongly in the Golden Rule and lived a modest, but sincere and honest life surrounded by her devoted family.
The family is very grateful to the Compassionate Care Hospice organization which took excellent care of Helen in her home for the last four months of her life. A special thanks to Nurse Christina!
Friends may call on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crery & Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE 19808 where a service will follow at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be in the Delaware Veterans Cemetery with her husband James Sama.