Helen Sidor Krupski, the matriarch of a prominent century-old North Fork farm family and mother of Suffolk Legis. Albert Krupski Jr., has died. She was 84.
She died Sunday at San Simeon Nursing Home in Greenport, where she had lived since December after suffering health setbacks.
Krupski, along with her husband, Albert Sr., 89, were a third-generation farm family that dated to the 1890s on Long Island’s East End.
Beginning in 1950, the couple operated a 50-acre farm in Peconic. They rented other properties, and at one time had more than 100 acres in production. In the early years, their main crop was potatoes, along with cauliflower and cabbage. Later, they diversified with other vegetables, including pumpkins.
“She was always a big part of the farm,” said Albert Krupski Jr. (D-Cutchogue), who lives in Cutchogue and is the fourth generation to continue the farm operation. “She managed the labor, ran the farm stand and was a big part of the all the decisions.”
Helen Sidor Krupski was philosophical about shifts in farming as more and more wineries opened in recent decades. “We welcome the wineries with open arms,” she told an interviewer in 2001. “Otherwise, the land would all be going to development, and once it’s blacktopped, it’s gone.”
Krupski was part of a farm family that cultivated land in Mattituck, where she was born and grew up. She met her future husband while she was a student at Mattituck High School and they married shortly after she graduated.
Her son said his mother had a “wide network of friends” and was active in local Catholic Church, Our Lady of Ostrabrama in Cutchogue.
“She was incredibly sweet and always welcoming,” said Robert Carpenter, the Long Island Farm Bureau’s administrative director, who had known her for 30 years. “She always put her family first and was a tremendous asset to our community. It’s as sad day for all of us.”
Former Suffolk Comptroller Joseph Sawicki Jr., part of another North Fork farm family, said Krupski was “an absolutely lovely person.”
Sawicki, a Republican, recalled that she sent him handwritten notes when he got married and after his two children were born. “To her, family was important and it didn’t matter if you were Democrat or Republican,” Sawicki said.
Sawicki said that, at one point, Suffolk Republican Chairman John Jay Lavalle wanted him to run against her son. “I told him no way, I sit two rows away from his mother at church,” Sawicki said.
In addition to her husband and son, survivors include a daughter, Sue Fisher, of Southold and another son, James, of Laurel, Md.; brothers, Edward and John Sidor, both of Mattituck; and five grandchildren.
A wake will be held at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold on Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Ostrabrama Roman Catholic Church in Cutchogue. Burial will follow at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Cemetery in Cutchogue.
Donations can be made to San Simeon Nursing Home, 61700 Rte. 48 Greenport, NY 11944, or the Cutchogue Fire Department Rescue Squad at 260 New Suffolk Ave., Cutchogue, NY 11935.