Helga “Sunnie” Epstein, 94, formerly of Fitchburg, died Nov. 30 at Sunrise Senior Living of Leominster. She was the widow of Irving Epstein. A Holocaust survivor, she came to the United States in 1940 at the age of 16. During World War II, she enrolled at the Burbank Hospital School of Nursing and was the first Jewish student to graduate the RN program. She worked for years as a labor and delivery nurse at Burbank and later became an instructor and assistant principal at the Burbank Hospital School of Practical Nursing. She received her bachelor of science in Guidance from Boston University in 1963, then got her master’s degree in Education in 1970. She then worked for the Ashby School System as a guidance director before joining the staff of Montachusett Regional Vocational School District as coordinator of the Allied Health and Community Service. In 1970, she was one of the co-founders of the LUK Crisis Center Inc. As a member of the Massachusetts Department of the Education Drug Team, she traveled to schools across the state to facilitate workshops. In 1982 she was elected to the MRVTS District School Committee and served as a member/chairperson representing Fitchburg for 20 years. After her retirement as the director of Adult Training and Retraining Program at Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School in Lexington, she spoke about her experience as a Holocaust survivor to high schools and colleges across New England. She was a member of Congregation Agudat Achim. She is survived by two daughters, Jackie Davis and her husband, Glen, of Leominster, and Judy Sciabarrasi and her husband, Jim, of Andover; four grandchildren, Leah Sciabarrasi and her husband, Chez Casadei, Joel Sciabarrasi and his wife, Brittney, Dan Sciabarrasi and his wife, Laura, and Shari (Davis) Wilmot and her husband, Mike; and two great-grandchildren, Xavi and Luca Casadei. She was predeceased by a brother, Walter. Memorial contributions may be made to Congregation Agudat Achim, 268 Washington St., Leominster, MA 01453; or to PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, 6900 E. Belleview Ave., Greenwood Village, CO 80111.



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