Helen Cruz

Obituary of Helen Cruz

Helen Diane Littleton Cruz was born March 7, 1953 as the first daughter of Martin Stevens Littleton, Sr. and Mary Helen Elizabeth (Wright) Littleton. She took her place in the family behind her older brother, Herbert Roscoe Littleton, and was soon joined by younger siblings Leanna Jane Littleton and Martin Steven Littleton, Jr.
Helen was always outgoing, energetic, and extremely creative. Her love of acting and the theater manifested itself early on, and by high school she was active in speech tournaments and debate, winning trophies for oral interpretation, and duet acting.  She was also known for her vociferous cheering on of the football team, and remained a football fan all her life.
After completing her undergraduate degree at University of Houston-Clear Lake, Helen studied at Florida State University, earning her Masters of Fine Arts Degree. It was at Florida State that she met and fell in love with Dane Clark Cruz and together they moved to Princeton, New Jersey where Helen completed her internship at McCarter Theatre and was subsequently offered a job in the Development Office.  Helen and Dane next moved to Houston, Texas where she worked at Chocolate Bayou Theatre and Stages Repertory Theater in the role of General Manager.
In 1986 Dane and Helen were married in Houston, Texas.  In 1990 they moved to Ithaca, New York where Helen taught Theater Management at Ithaca College. During that time their daughters Libby Diane Cruz and Emma Jane Cruz were born. One summer, Helen lived in Washington, DC to complete a fellowship at the National Endowment for the Arts. Helen and Dane moved to Cedar City, Utah where she taught Theatre Management in the MFA program at Southern Utah University. It was there she was promoted to Associate Dean.  In 2003 The Cruz family returned to upstate New York. Helen began teaching as a substitute teacher at Candor High School. After 12 years, Helen retired in 2015.   
She is survived by her husband, Dane C. Cruz, of Candor, New York; daughter Libby Diane Cruz Miazga (Aaron) of San Diego, California; daughter Emma Jane Cruz of Candor, New York and Fredonia, New York; brother, Herbert R. Littleton (Carolyn) of Tahlequah, Oklahoma; sister Jane Shaw of Vero Beach, Florida; brother Steven Littleton of Santa Fe, Texas, and a multitude of cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews in several states and countries.  Helen is also survived by the Cruz family, who took her as one of their own, enveloped her with support and love, and all of whom she treasured dearly.
A celebration of Helen’s life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Estey, Munroe & Fahey Funeral Home, 137 Main St., Candor, NY.  The family will receive friends Friday Evening from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.  Memorial contributions may be made in Helen D. Cruz’s memory to Lourdes Hospital Foundation (Hospice), 169 Riverside Drive, Suite 103, Binghamton, NY  13905.  Condolences may be made to Helen’s family at www.emfaheyfuneralhome.com.