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Helena Zabranska mourned by RFE/RL colleagues

RFE/RL Graphic Database Librarian Helena Zabranska
RFE/RL Graphic Database Librarian Helena Zabranska

Helena Zabranska, a treasured colleague with RFE/RL’s Multimedia Unit, passed away January 23, 2017 after a long struggle with a chronic illness. She was 50 years old. She is survived by her husband Marek and their daughter Bara, and is remembered by her coworkers for her generosity and dedication.

Helena joined RFE/RL in 1997, first in the Communications Department, where she worked on the RFE/RL Insider newsletter, keeping staff informed of the latest corporate news and events. She joined the photo library team in 2008 as a graphic database librarian working with journalists across RFE/RLs language services and bureaus to select photos for news stories. Though her health condition required her to work from home for the last several years, she remained a vital part of RFE/RL’s mission and work.

“She was a very gentle and kind person, but she also had a strong spirit,” said RFE/RL Multimedia Managing Editor Bruce Jacobs. “Although bound to a wheelchair for many years, Helena refused to let her illness hold her back from the fullest life possible, including in her work.”

Helena was an avid photographer and graphic designer and enjoyed spending time with her family and beloved pets. She will be deeply missed.

A funeral service will be held at the Church of the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord (Kostel Nejsvětějšího Srdce Páně) on Jiriho z Podebrad Square in Prague on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.