Helen Csenge Dropick died on July 21 at Monsignor Bojnowski Manor, a nursing home in New Britain, Conn. She was 100.

She was born in Wallingford, Conn., in 1918, the youngest child of Hungarian immigrants Louis Csenge and Elizabeth Karhut Csenge. At an early age she started helping out in her parents’ grocery story, starting with sweeping the floors and walks at age 3 or 4 and moving on to weighing dry goods and preparing chicken with her brother Paul, or joining her father for 4 a.m. trips to the New Haven docks to get fish and meat for the store.

She graduated from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Hartford with an RN degree in 1939. While she planned to pursue further education, she received a surprise job offer as head nurse at St. Francis Hospital, launching a career that she continued into her 80s. Her key personality traits — always kind, gracious, compassionate and generous, with a good sense of humor — served her well in this work. She met and married her lifelong love, Michael F. Dropick, and they raised three children.

She worked in several different wards at St. Francis Hospital, topping off her celebrated career of almost 40 years as the head nurse in a maternity ward, where she taught new mothers to care for their babies.

After she retired from St. Francis, she continued to do private duty nursing and cared for ailing family members.

A member of the Good Shepherd Parish, Helen was a devout Catholic, with a strong spiritual life. She was multilingual, a keen grammarian and an avid crossword aficionado, completing the puzzles in ink. She was an excellent cook and baker, could sketch with verisimilitude and wrote a children’s story.

She spent 10 happy retirement years in Oak Bluffs, enjoying daily walks in the fresh sea air.

She was predeceased by her husband, and siblings Margaret, Julia, Louis, Elizabeth and Paul.

She is survived by her children, Michael, John and Anne, five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be at Molloy Funeral Home in West Hartford, Conn., on Monday, July 29, from 9 to 9:45 a.m., followed by a burial mass at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Church, and interment at Fairview Cemetary in West Hartford.

Donations can be made to the St. Francis Foundation, 95 Woodland street, Hartford, CT 06105, Attn: Lynn, and to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery, 27 Park Road, West Hartford, CT 06119.