Helen Victoria (Mista) Prezkop
August 24, 1935 – January 31, 2024
Helen came into this world as the first daughter of John and Victoria Mista in the little community of Martin’s Ferry, Ohio. She attended St. Mary’s grade school and at the age of 10, played organ at the parish. She attended St. John’s High School in Bellaire, Ohio and continued as the organist until she graduated. Despite her modest and hard-working family background, Helen was awarded a full scholarship to continue her passion and study of music at St. Joseph Conservatory in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated in 1958 with a degree in musical education, specializing in classical piano.
After graduation Helen moved to Cleveland, Ohio where she began her professional music career. Shortly after, she met her husband John while dancing at the Swing Club right here in Wheeling. They were married on June 28, 1958, and started their lives together in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where their first child James John was born. Helen and John ended up moving to Parkersburg, West Virginia where their first daughter Katherine Mary was born. Finally Helen and John moved to Wheeling where their other four daughters Christine Marie, Suzanne Marie, Amy Marie, and Lisa Marie were born – a grand total of six children.
Helen’s unwavering dedication to her family was evident; she raised beautiful children. That being said, her legacy is her passion for music. She performed all over the Wheeling community and she played the organ at St. Michael’s Church which led to her starting the St. Michael’s Choir. Her work with the choir soon blossomed into her serving as music teacher at St. Michael’s School. She directed student musicals and led the kid’s choir at school masses. Helen treasured her time working for St. Michael’s Parish, spreading the joy of music to the Catholic Community. Aside from her involvement in the parish, Helen was a member of the Ohio Valley Chorale and even toured across Europe. Also Helen was avidly involved in liturgical music and served on a board responsible for incorporating musical practices across the diocese. Helen remained professionally involved in music until her retirement in the early 1990s.
Aside from all these accomplishments Helen’s will always be remembered for her dedication and understanding towards her family. She greeted everyone with a smile, glowing personality, and heaps of legendary pierogies and cabbage rolls. Helen never turned anyone away and it was through this habit that she exemplified her Catholic faith.
On January 31st, the world lost a wonderful woman, and a family lost their matriarch. Her soul is reunited with her husband John, parents John and Victoria, and granddaughter Emma. Helen is survived by her six children James Prezkop, Katherine (Naufel Dellget) Prezkop, Christine (Gregory) Churilla, Suzanne (Thomas) Whelan, Amy Prezkop, and Lisa Prezkop; her grandchildren Brittney, Dylan, Zachary, and Elizabeth; her two sisters Mary Ann and Janie; her nephews Christopher, Eddie, Tommy, and Justin; and her dear friend Martha Tiu.
Friends will be received from 12-3 & 5-7 pm, Sunday, February 4, 2024, at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger Street, Wheeling, where a vigil service will be held at 7 pm.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am, Monday, February 5, 2024, at St. Michael Catholic Church, with Rev. Carlos Melocoton Jr. as celebrant. Interment will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.
Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center, 125 18th Street, Wheeling, WV 26003, or online by clicking the link above.