Friends, family remember Waterbury woman murdered while delivering Chinese food

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WATERBURY – The woman murdered while delivering Chinese food in Waterbury Tuesday night is being remembered as a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and friend.

Helena Vargas, 59, of Waterbury, was found shot in the passenger side of a car outside 70 Linden St. about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. She was taken from the scene and died at the hospital.

She was out with Rolando Alvarez making deliveries for the Golden Wok restaurant on East Main Street. Friends said Vargas’s sister owns the restaurant, and Vargas was just helping out, as she often did.

Vargas was born in Singapore, but lived in Waterbury for the last three decades. She was well-known in the community and beloved amongst her neighbors.

"Her petite yet mighty presence has made her a town darling. Everyone felt her infectious smile and tenacious charm as she aspired to help anyone in need especially the elderly," wrote Vargas's niece Amy Tiong in her obituary.

Irma Serrano and her family lived at the same East Main Street apartment as Vargas, and they grew to be the closest of friends.

“She was the best, the best person, one of the best tenants in the building, and a great neighbor. We love her as a family member,” said Serrano, whose husband is the superintendent of the building.

Vargas saw Serrano’s grandchildren grow up, including her grandson 21-year-old grandson Jordon Adorno.

“She made a huge impact on my life through school, getting into college,” Adorno said.

When the news about her death reached them, they said it felt as though they had lost a member of their own family.

“That was so bad," Serrano said. "I called my husband, let him know. He didn’t even understand what I was saying because I was crying so much.”

They said it was no surprise she was helping out her sister that night, because helping others is what she was known for.

“When I get sick or something or my husband, ‘You want something to eat? You want some soup?’ She always was there for us and we was there for her too,” said Serrano.

"Helen is a beautiful individual and she always will be," Adorno said. "She’s not gone. I’m not the type to say ‘Goodbye Helen.’ It’s ‘See you later.’”

Her funeral will be held this Saturday, August 27, 2016 at 10am at Maiorano Funeral Home, 95 Willow Street in Waterbury, with a service beginning at 10:30am. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery. Calling hours are on Friday evening from 4:00-8:00pm.