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Complete obituary of Helen J. Rosenblum

The Honorable Helen J. Rosenblum of Shelter Island died on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, at Stony Brook University Hospital.

Helen was born in 1945 in New York City to Jacob J. Rosenblum, a prominent Manhattan attorney, and Evelyn Rosenblum, who would later run a local liquor store. Her brother Michael, five years her senior, gladly welcomed her to the family.

Helen grew up on the Upper East Side of Manhattan before leaving to study first at Skidmore College, and later at George Washington University, where she finished with a BA in American Studies. After college, Helen worked in motion picture distribution for more than a decade before she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and become an attorney. She graduated with a JD from Fordham University in 1983.

After spending weekends on Shelter Island for several years, Helen made the Island her permanent home in 1985. She opened a private practice on the Island, eventually expanding to have offices in Southold and Riverhead. Helen served as the Shelter Island Town Attorney from 1986 to 2001.

In 2004, she was elected to serve as a Town Justice of Shelter Island, in which capacity she presided until 2020. In addition to hearing thousands of cases as judge, Helen presided over the East End Regional Intervention Court, or “Drug Court,” where she helped drug offenders to rehabilitate themselves and embrace more meaningful lives. As town justice, Helen also married hundreds of couples and was proud that she was able to marry many same-sex couples once it became legal to do so.

In addition to her work as an attorney, Helen was a passionate volunteer and servant to her community. With her companion of nearly 30 years, Edward J. Boyd, Helen worked as a volunteer EMT and honorary Fire Department member. She was also a devoted and altruistic animal lover who took great pleasure in observing the local osprey population. In her time on Shelter Island, Helen fostered and took care of dozens of cats.

She was an integral part and beloved member of the Shelter Island community for more than 35 years, rarely leaving other than to make her daily commute to her Riverhead office. Helen leaves behind her fiancé, Edward J. Boyd, her niece, Jennifer Asher, nephews, Eric and Jeff Rosenblum, and her two cats, Pumper and Sadie. 

The family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 at The DeFriest-Grattan Shelter Island Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m., where a Firematic/EMS service will be held at 6 p.m. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.. at Our Lady of The Isle R.C. Church, officiated by Father Peter DeSanctis.

Interment will follow at The Shelter Island Cemetery. (Behind The Shelter Island Presbyterian Church).