Meet Helen Musante! A mom of six children and a passionate painter, Helen’s life experiences include treasured time with family, travels around the world, and plenty of art shows and gallery exhibits along the way….
Helen has lived at one of our most award-winning UMH communities for the past two years, although for most of her life, she never really lived far from the place she now calls home.
Helen loves the maintenance-free lifestyle at Crosby Commons Assisted and Independent Living Community and enjoys walking the beautiful 40 acre Wesley Village campus during the day; always encouraging someone to walk with her.
Born in New Jersey, Helen grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where she met her husband Fred. She and Fred were married when she was twenty-five years old and she lived almost her entire married life in Trumbull and Shelton, Connecticut.
She and her husband started a family which quickly grew to include six children, including five boys and one girl. She now has seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild who make her life even better!
When Helen’s children were grown, she began to re-explore her interest in painting. She took art classes at Fairfield University and at an art school in Greenwich, where she began to refine her talent. She went on to study under the direction of Frank Covino, learning the techniques of the old masters, and discovered a passion for vibrant color and impressionism under the guidance of Enzo Russo, working in both oil and watercolor.
Helen is widely known for her paintings and has been acknowledged many times in local papers. Her paintingsare displayed in many places and she has won multiple awards: The Osborne Homestead Museum in Derby, Marks of Design in Shelton, and the Parson’s Government Complex in Milford.
She also has a painting displayed at the Shelton Town Hall and the Gilded Lily Gallery in Milford, not to mention, Crosby Commons. Helen also participated in several other art shows and galleries. Most of all, she enjoys painting people. Her favorite painting, out of the many she created, is one of a little girl with beautiful blue eyes, wearing a bonnet.
Over the years, Helen and her husband have enjoyed traveling to places like Nova Scotia, England, Ireland, Italy, and Turkey. They drove their SUV through the Rocky Mountains and walked down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. They went on a safari in Egypt and rode camels and experienced the beauty of Russia on a river cruise. Thinking back, Helen admits her favorite destination was Ireland, probably “because the people were so friendly.” She loved sharing her experiences with her husband, Fred, the love of her life.
Helen can often be found walking the ground of Crosby Commons, as she has always loved to walk. Twenty years ago, she would walk from her condo at down to Huntington Center and sometimes to her son’s house – about 2.5 miles. (Neighbors would sometimes stop to give her a ride, thinking her car broke down, but she cheerfully sent them on their way!)
When she is not painting, walking, or keeping busy with the many activities and events at Crosby Commons, Helen confesses that she does enjoy watching television. Some of her favorite shows include Dancing with the Stars and Shark Tank. When asked if she had any wisdom to share with younger generations, Helen gave a piece of simple advice, "Enjoy life…there is nothing bad about getting old."
Helen Musante was interviewed by Girl Scouts, Christina Marino and Julie Hoff. Excerpts from Helen’s life story, written by her daughter, Laura, were also referenced in the writing of this article.
About Marissa Salvesen
My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!
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