Cover photo for Helen Hart's Obituary
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1929 Helen 2023

Helen Hart

1929 — July 13, 2023

Helen Sorvari Goukas Hart, of Beach Park, IL, passed away peacefully on July 13, 2023 with her son and grandson by her bedside in Kenosha, IL. At 93 years old, she was a mother, grandmother and great- grandmother, as well as a teacher and a lifelong lover of the arts, nature and animals. During her long and fulfilling life, Helen was always a source of support and strength to her family, a strong and pious figure who was well-respected by the community.

Helen was born in 1929 to first generation Finnish immigrants Anna E. Lehdi and William J. Sovari in Waukegan, IL. She would fondly recall growing up in pre-WWII Waukegan, her days at Waukegan High School and later at Lake Forest College where she obtained her undergraduate degree, before completing an MA in Education. During her youth she worked an assortment of jobs including laboratory assembly, telephone operator and typist, before eventually settling into her lifelong career as a teacher. She would go on to instruct and inspire children from all walks of life. Not complacent with only dispensing academic knowledge, Helen would also provide generous donations and support to disadvantaged children in her later years, inspiring them to not only become better students, but stronger individuals.

Despite her meticulous work ethic and long career, Helen always placed family at the center of her life. After the passing of her first husband Leo Guokas, Helen eventually reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Russ Hart, and they married in 1988. They were happily married for 30 years until Russ’ passing in 2018, when Helen relocated back to Illinois to be with her daughter Lisa’s family. Regardless of where she lived, Helen was known to her whole family as being extremely thoughtful and considerate, never missing a birthday or anniversary wish through cards and calls, and always being there for her loved ones when they needed her. She is survived by her son Mike (Char) Guokas, her grandchildren Cliff Borowicz, John Borowicz and Zackery Strange, her great grandchildren Isabella, Khloe, Noah, and Elijah, and her son-in-law Stephen Strange.

Throughout her life, Helen always held faith as the cornerstone of her spirit, being a lifelong Lutheran and a member of St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Waukegan. In daily conduct, she upheld the Finnish principle of Sisu – the overcoming of adversity through grit, resilience and self-sufficiency. She also practiced the Christian values of generosity and kindness, giving to a great number of charities and foundations including the Anti-Cruelty Society, Nature Conservancy, Finlandia University, Hanna Boys Center and PAWS Chicago. She leaves behind a stoic legacy of integrity and compassion that will inspire future generations to come, and she will be forever kept in loving memory.

A celebration of Helen’s life will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church on September 7th, 2023 at 10:30 AM. Internment will be held at Northshore Garden of Memories following the celebration.

Donations can be made to Waukegan Public Schools, https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1782930; or to St. Mark's Lutheran Church https://www.stmarkslutheran.us/donation-to-st-marks.html.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Hart, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, September 7, 2023

10:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church

3350 North Delany Road, Waukegan, IL 60087

Celebration of Helen's life

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