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Published: Saturday, 3/17/2001

Ex-Army nurse was a polka enthusiast

Helen I. Seman, of Rossford, a retired registered nurse who was a polka and pysanky enthusiast, died Thursday in St. Charles Mercy Hospital. She was 85.

Mrs. Seman died of congestive heart failure, her husband, Emil, said. She was a patient in the hospital for about a week, and in declining health for about a year.

She was a 1934 graduate of Rossford High School, and later returned to high school to study chemistry and physics to qualify for admission to Mercy Hospital's school of nursing, from which she graduated in 1942.

Mrs. Seman joined the U.S. Army as a registered nurse, received a commission as a 2nd lieutenant, and served with the Eighth Army Air Force in England.

Her brother, Edward “Chubby” Cieply, was a pilot in England at the same time Mrs. Seman was in Great Britain. “They used to get together as much as possible,” her husband said. “He was killed in either 1943 or 1944.”

After the war, Mrs. Seman was a nurse at Mercy and St. Charles hospitals, retiring in 1971.

“What she really enjoyed doing were those [Easter or pysanky] eggs the Ukrainians do,” Ruth Kerl, another Rossford friend, said.

Her husband agreed: “It's quite an art. She did it for years and years. It's always been quite a big deal before Easter.”

Mrs. Seman was praised for her baking, used to enjoy traveling with her husband to polka festivals in Hamler, Continental, Deshler, and Bryan in northwest Ohio, and was a member of All Saints Catholic Church in Rossford.

Surviving are her husband of 57 years, Emil; daughter, Dina Campbell; sons, Dave and John; brother, John Cieply; seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, Rossford, after 2 p.m. tomorrow, where a Polish Rosary will be recited at 5 p.m. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday in All Saints Catholic Church.

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