Carole Mikita ReportingAn award-winning author, historian and educator was buried today. Helen Papanikolas died earlier this week, leaving a rich legacy of work unique in our state.
Helen Papanikolas is remembered with highest regard for her unique contribution to Utah. She was an historian for the multitude of ethnic and cultural groups, and internationally-recognized award-winning writer.
Philip Notarianni, Utah State Historical Society Director: "She really was the pioneer for expanding Utah's history to include all people's, and stressed the cultural diversity and the different values and the humaneness of those people."
She did it in her writings, but also in her personal life. Describing her as a meticulous researcher, those in her professional life say they watched her mentor students, providing scholarships, inspire young minds, and open her home to those from outside the state.
One who sat at her knee knows that despite her love of her writing, family came first with Helen Papanikolas. She impressed upon her grandchildren the importance of hard work and education.
Luke Smart, Grandson: "Encouraged us to reach a little bit further, to look at horizons that we might not have considered before and to try harder. And to try to achieve more than we might have expected of ourselves. And that's something that I'm tremendously grateful to her for."
Her last book "An Amulet of Greek Earth," included a dedication to her posterity and all Americans in whose veins an ancestor's Greek blood flows. Helen Papanikolas was proud of the state of her birth, but left a legacy that reached far beyond.
Helen Papanikolas is survived by two children, six grand children, four great-grand children, and many nephews and nieces, including our own Tonya Papanikolas.