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Welcome to the memorial page for

Ilona "Helen" Kovacs

October 16, 1924 ~ January 11, 2018 (age 93)

Ilona “Helen” Kovacs, 93, residing in South Bend, passed away peacefully at 6:40 am Thursday, January 11, 2018 in the Sanctuary at Holy Cross. She was born October 16, 1924 in Papa, Hungary to the late Steven and Ilona (Erdos) Toth. Helen moved with her family to the United States in 1956.

On September 15, 1965 in Cleveland, TN, Helen married Paul Kovacs, who survives. In addition to her loving husband of 52 years, she is survived by her daughter, Margie (Frank) McHugh of Orland Park, IL; son, Steve (Cindy) Kovacs of Granger, IN; and grandchildren, Chad and Kelli Kovacs. She was preceded in death by her sister, Maria Windish; and brother, Leslie Toth.

Helen worked in various roles at the Notre Dame Hammes Bookstore for many years, where she was well known to the many students, brothers, priests and staff she befriended over the years, and whom she considered another family.  She was a longtime member of Christ the King Catholic Church in South Bend.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00am on Monday, January 15, 2018 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 52473 SR 933, South Bend. Graveside services and burial will follow in Cedar Grove Cemetery, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00-4:00pm on Sunday, January 14th in the Palmer Funeral Home—Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Helen may be donated to The Sanctuary at Holy Cross – Mission Fund, 17475 Dugdale Drive, South Bend, IN  46635.

Online condolences may be left for the Kovacs family at

 Service Information

January 14, 2018

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel
17131 Cleveland Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Mass of Christian Burial
January 15, 2018

10:00 AM
Christ the King Catholic Church
52473 SR 933
South Bend, IN 46637

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