Helen M. Thorkelsen, of Longboat Key and formerly of Philadelphia, died Feb. 15. She was 72.
She was born July 6, 1939. Mrs. Thorkelsen was a lifelong hospitality employee, spending many years as a waitress at the Gulf Drive Café on Bradenton Beach. Through the years she had established many relationships as a result of that association.
Mrs. Thorkelsen and her husband, Bill, developed a strong bond with their neighbors on Bayview Drive and entertained often. Friends and family were the focal point of her life.
Mrs. Thorkelsen is survived by her husband, William K. Thorkelsen, of Longboat Key; sister, Marie Swiacki; children Deborah Michael, Charles Griffith Jr., Bob Griffith, Don Griffith, Julia Mele and Bob Mare; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to your local Hospice chapter or affiliation.