Cover photo for Helen Mcelwain's Obituary
Helen Mcelwain Profile Photo

Helen Mcelwain

Helen McElwain, beloved wife of the late Harold L. McElwain passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Helen was born on June 14, 1921 in Philadelphia, the daughter of Francis J. and Gertrude Cahill Cavanaugh. Helen and Harold met while he was stationed in Philadelphia during WWII. They married on March 11, 1944, and after his discharge from the Army Air Corps they made their home in Ellwood City.

Helen’s four children survive: Floyd H. McElwain and his wife, Tona Rae Manzo McElwain, H. Frank McElwain and his wife, Carolyn Crawford McElwain, Kevin L. McElwain and his wife, Debbie Russo McElwain, and Dr. Mariann C. McElwain and her husband, Dr. Jonathan M. Urffer. Also surviving are Helen’s grandchildren: Andrea (James) Vetica, Floyd (Jodi) McElwain, Jr., Leslie (Ryan Stewart) McElwain, Kathleen (Mark Keating) McElwain, Helen Urffer and Declan Urffer, and 11 great-grandchildren.

Helen’s surviving siblings are Bernice (Bud) Gemiganni, Irene (Ed) Murray and Claire (Danny) Donnelly. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Mary Evelyn (Lee) Christy and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her husband three siblings pre-deceased Helen: Gertrude (Barney) Boyland, Mary (Joe) Winner and Frank (Emily) Cavanaugh.

Helen was fiercely devoted to her family, her Irish heritage and her Catholic faith. She was a member of Holy Redeemer Parish.

The family extends sincere gratitude to Home Instead and their caregivers and to neighbor and friend Gail Meuhlman who provided compassionate care and friendship, and especially to her granddaughter Andrea who tended to Helen’s needs so lovingly throughout the course of her recent illness.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated with friends and family on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. at Holy Redeemer Parish. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ellwood City Library, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Marshall Funeral Home, Ellwood City. Online condolences may be sent to

Masks and social distancing are required at the church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Mcelwain, please visit our flower store.


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