Helena S. Riney Print E-mail

Helena S. Riney
Beloved mother, grandmother, and sist

Helena (Saunders) Riney of Concord, Massachusetts, died peacefully on Sunday, October 10, 2021, at the age of 92 with family by her side.

For over 50 years she was the loving wife of William Edward Riney until his death in 2001.

Helena was born to Albert L. Saunders and Mary (Carroll) Saunders in North Andover, Massachusetts.  The youngest of four children, she was a 1946 graduate of North Andover High School, attending Boston University for just one year. Financially unable to continue college, she attended the St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing, graduating with her R.N. degree in the spring of 1950.  Following a brief time caring for newborns at Boston City Hospital, she wed William E. Riney (Bill) on November 25, 1950 and paused her nursing career.

Together, Helena and Bill raised seven children in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, in a busy and boisterous home.  Helena was the calm in the storm, radiating serenity amid the chaos of a large family. She was smart, highly organized, and energetic, with incredible stamina. Seemingly effortlessly, she juggled all the moving parts of a nine-member household, sometimes augmented by an additional teenager in need of refuge.  And through it all, she was unfailingly patient, loving, and fair.

Helena loved to learn and experience new things. She learned to play tennis at age 40, developing a new passion.  At age 44 she returned to work in the health care field and for 12 years was responsible for Housekeeping and Infection Control at Tewksbury State Hospital.  While working full time, Helena went back to college at night, earning her long-denied bachelor’s degree in psychology from New England College at the age of 55.  And at age 60, free of the constraints of working and raising children, she embarked on a global traveling spree spanning 20 years and six continents.

Anyone who knew Helena will remember her for her open and generous heart, her interest in each person with whom she spoke, the laughter and kindness in her    green eyes, and her words of wisdom. She was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She was very much loved by all and will be greatly missed by her children and grandchildren.

Helena is survived by her four daughters, Anne F. Riney and her husband Myles Schumer of New York City, Susan Riney Miller and her husband Thomas Miller of Concord, MA, Catherine E. Riney and her husband Daniel Gallagher of Tyngsboro, MA, and Margaret R. Beaulieu and her husband Richard of Palmetto, FL; her three sons, Michael E. Riney and his wife Nancy of Sarasota, FL, James D. Riney and his wife Loretta Berardinelli of Venice, FL, and Kevin R. Riney and his wife Joyce of Kingston, NH; five loving grandchildren, Erin, Megan, and Patrick Riney and Benjamin and Samuel Miller; and four nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to gather for a Funeral Mass at St. Mary Parish, 25 North Road, in Chelmsford on Monday, October 18, 2021, at 11 am (masks are encouraged), followed by her burial at Pine Ridge Cemetery in Chelmsford.

E-condolences/directions at www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to St. Jude Children’s Hospital at www.stjude.org. Arrangement by the O’Donnell Funeral Home, Lowell, MA, 978-458-8768.

Condolences (2)
  • peter conway
    Mike and the Riney clan, so sorry about your mother. She was always kind to the Conway clan, unless of course we acted up at the Vesper pool. Then she became the 'pool warden' and we were appropriately scolded. Your mom was a very nice lady and I am sorry for your loss. With sympathy from the Conways.
  • Margaret Rynne Fuller  - Prayers and warm thoughts for Helena and family
    Wishing my condolences to each Riney sibling . What a great write up . Your mom was the best. She had such a big heart both warm ,caring. She was a great friend to my mom , a source of encouragement when I decided to go into nursing after dad’s stroke. She was a fun cheer leader for our swim team years and loved her tennis for sure . It’s never easy to lose a parent , no matter. Love hugs and peace to the Riney family. Margaret
Write Condolence
Your Name:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.