Born Helena Frances Goretski on December 5, 1891 in Polonia, Wisconsin, her family simply called her Helen Gorski for ease of pronunciation and a better chance of fitting in here in America. Helen’s legal name has also been spelled Goretzke.
She believed her birth year was 1900. Even after receiving written confirmation from the US Social Security Office in 1951, she continued to sign her name with a birth year of 1900 instead of 1891.
Her parents, Adam Goretski (born circa 1830) and Mary Yach (born circa 1842) came to the USA around 1890 from Prussia. They escaped from the region of Poland when it was under East Germany’s control. The couple had ten children, of which Helen was the youngest. The children were: Martha, Joseph, Rosalia, John, Antonia, August, Alex, and Charles.
Helen had twelve children. She married Andrew Anton Stroik (1876-1929) sometime before 1916. The couple had eleven children: Frank, Mary Rose, Edward, Benjamin, Walter F., Anthony, Domenick, Esther Ann, and twins Stella and Stanley. Her last daughter, Christine Helen Hayes, was born in 1933.
Not much is known about Helen’s life. She died on May 1, 1982 in Saginaw, Michigan. She is buried next to her late husband Andrew at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Merrill, Michigan. Her death year has never been inscribed on her gravestone, as of the year 2001.