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Marion’s oldest living Greek-American turns 95

Marion’s oldest living Greek-American turns 95

Helen Bomas will turn 95 at the end of June.

She is the oldest Greek-American living in Marion. She arrived in Marion in the early 1950s, when the city had a thriving and close-knit Greek-American community.

Although Bomas was born in Ohio, her early years were marked by significant travel. Her father and uncles had moved to America to start a new life, but her mother missed her homeland and returned to Greece with Bomas, who was 2, and her brother, Spiro.

During World War II, Bomas experienced the lighter and darker sides of life in Greece. She fondly remembers Italian soldiers picking her and her friends up to pick figs and pomegranates from the trees, but she also witnessed the harsh realities of war, including the execution of Greeks who had befriended the Germans.

Helen Bomas, cuddled up with her dog Niko, is Marion's oldest living Greek-American and will turn 95 this month.Helen Bomas, cuddled up with her dog Niko, is Marion's oldest living Greek-American and will turn 95 this month.

Helen Bomas, cuddled up with her dog Niko, is Marion’s oldest living Greek-American and will turn 95 this month.

After the war, Bomas’ father wanted her to return to America. Her brother, Spiro, had already made the trip, and at age 17, Bomas, struggling with the emotions of leaving her mother behind, traveled alone to Ellis Island.

Her father brought her to Marion, where he owned and operated the State Theater and lived at the Harding Hotel. He became good friends with the hotel’s chef, Leon Bomas – another Greek-American. Leon Bomas had a son named Steve, and Helen and Steve were introduced and eventually married, spending 60 years together.

Today, Helen Bomas lives in the comfort of her home without Steve, who passed away. She is cared for by four wonderful ladies and an excellent nurse who checks on her frequently.

Bomas also two children, Leon and Harriet, who ensure that their mother will live happily ever after. Her pet Maltese, Niko, is her best friend and constant companion, keeping her smiling and singing every day.

This article originally appeared on the Marion Star: Marion resident Helen Bomas to mark 95th birthday