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They called her ‘St. Helen of Shelter Island’: Posthumous honors accrue for Helen Rosenblum

Even those who knew Helen Rosenblum for years said that, since her untimely death in February, they have learned more about her generosity of spirit than they knew.

She was born into a family of means in New York City where she might have lived a life of privilege. Instead, she moved to the tiny town of Shelter Island where friends recall her many instances of giving back to her adopted community, not simply as a Justice Court judge, town attorney and attorney to the Shelter Island Fire Commissioners, but as a volunteer with the Emergency Medical Services unit, and her caring for others and her love of animals.

All contributed to the reasons she has posthumously been honored in recent weeks.

Ed Boyd, her companion of many years, said even he’s learned much about the contributions to others that he didn’t previously know that were made by the woman who was so special in his life.

Mr. Boyd was the recipient on her behalf of two distinct honors in recent weeks — the South Country Ambulance annual dinner was dedicated to her on May 14. She was recalled as  “St. Helen of Shelter Island, Patron Saint of all that struggle.” And a resolution in her honor was passed by the Suffolk Regional Emergency Medical Services Council (REMSCO).

Chief Gregory Miglino Jr. of South Country Ambulance said of his friend that she was “such a giving individual.” He was moved by so many who spoke about the former Justice Court judge at her funeral and thought about what it took to become “such a beautiful human being.”
If you met her for two seconds, you immediately knew how special she was, Chief Miglino said.

“We couldn’t let go without recognizing her,” he added.

Despite her life of privilege, she was humble and devoted herself to humanity, the chief said. In his 27 years of service with South Country, he could recall only three other times when dinners were dedicated to memories of department members.

REMSCO issued a Resolution of Respect to Ms. Rosenblum,— volunteer EMT, honorary Fire Department Life Member and REMSCO Member of Noble Standing — for her more than 30 years of devoted time and energy to the EMS System. Her prime thoughts were “always for the good of all concerned,” the resolution issued on May 10 read. She was honored for her “unselfish devotion” to REMSCO and related EMS efforts. “We mourn the loss of our fellow member representing the Ambulance Services of the North Fork Volunteer Rescue Squad Association [and] cherish as sacred the memory of her life and interest in the Suffolk County REMSCO.”