YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Helen Marie DeNiro Papalia, 78, formerly of Youngstown, passed away on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, with her loving family by her side. 

Helen, affectionally known as “Lucy” to everyone who knew and loved her, was born March 6, 1945, in Youngstown, the daughter of James Vincent DeNiro and Mary Sekula-DeNiro.  

She was a 1963 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School and spent her youth growing up in Youngstown. 

Later, she spent a majority of her life in Struthers, moving to the Tampa area in 2001. 

Lucy’s family, many friends and her grandchildren were always held close to her heart and her greatest memories were made when spending time with all of them.  

She enjoyed cooking and hosting family dinners for her children and grandchildren. Lucy especially loved putting her special touch on holiday celebrations and made them very memorable for her family and friends.  

Buzzy always referred to Lucy as a “World Class Shopper”, from Saks, to Niemans and Nordstroms, to a local flea market, Lucy was always looking for a deal! She also enjoyed playing the lottery, especially the scratch off tickets, playing bingo, watching football, going to the casinos and playing the slot machines but most of all, Lucy loved a great late-night card game.  

When Lucy passed away on September 12, Heaven gained a loyal, selfless angel that was a topnotch card player.  She is now with her lifelong friends that have gone before her, Bertha, Tootsie, Ann, Theresa, Flora, Rosie and June and they have most certainly made a seat for her at Heaven’s card table.    

Lucy will be deeply missed and always remembered by her husband, Bruce E. “Buzzy” Papalia; whom she married, June 10, 1967; her daughter, Lorraine and husband, Dan Sciortino, of Struthers and their children, Nikole of Tampa and Rhianna of Struthers; her son, Bruce V. Papalia of Poland and his children, Paolo, Brando and Chi-Chi; sister, Joanne (Jerry) DeNicholas of Colorado and their children, Sandy DeNicholas and Joey DeNicholas; her sister-in-law, Cynthia “Candy” (Edward) DeBartolo of Tampa and their children, Lisa DeBartolo (Don Miggs), Tiffanie DeBartolo (Scott Schumaker) and Nicole DeBartolo (Sheriff Chad Chronister) and their families; great-nieces and great-nephews and her very special lifelong friend, Rachele DiGenova. 

She was preceded in death by her parents and her in-laws, Bruno and Catherine Papalia. 

The family would like to especially thank Lucy’s caregiver, Adriana Sanchez, who took care of her from the beginning of her illness. From Adriana: “Mrs. Helen”, Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure. You are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure.  She asked for so little, but gave so very much. Forever in our hearts. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4. 

The family requests that in lieu of any monetary and floral donations, contributions be made in Helen’s name to: The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio, 10415 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44106, or Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Boardman, OH  44512. 

The Papalia family has entrusted Lucy’s care to the Wasko Funeral Home

A Mass of Christian Burial, officiated by the Very Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Cariglio, Jr., will be held on Monday, September 25, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at the Basilica of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 343 Via Mt. Carmel Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Marie “Lucy” DeNiro Papalia, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Friday, September 22 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.