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Leona B. (Riskiewicz) Lassen

Born: Wed., Jul. 4, 1928
Died: Sat., Jun. 6, 2020


Private Interment


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The woman a good portion of New Haven knew as “ma” or “mother” passed away in her sleep in the early hours of June 6, 2020.  She was a firecracker, born on the 4th of July, 1928 to Benjamin and Helen Pienta Riskiewicz.  After graduating from West Haven High School, Lee went on to work at the United Illuminating Co. – at that time located on the corner of George and Temple Streets.  On the opposite corner stood Louis’ Lunch and a small parking lot.   Lee met Ken Lassen at Louis’ and the rest is history.  Lee and Ken worked side by side behind the counter cooking burgers while Lee also kept the books and, on Thursday evenings, made the infamous tuna fish for the Friday lunch crowd.  Both Ken and Lee were fiercely devoted to ”the store” and spent many, many hours working there together.  When Ken developed Parkinson’s disease, Lee cared for him at their home in Orange, continuing to keep the books and make the tuna.  A few years after Ken passed away (12/21/2010), Lee retired from Louis’.

Lee will be remembered for her smart comebacks, her grouchy look (which hid a very soft interior), and her strength in the face of adversity.  She is survived by her 3 children – Laurel Jonas of Dighton, MA, Kenneth E. Lassen of Orange, and Jeffrey, Kerry, Cole and Grace Lassen of Bethany.  
Funeral services were private.  A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.

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