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Helen M. Hastings, 81, one of the first female advertising executives at The Buffalo Evening News, died Saturday (Nov. 23, 2002) in her daughter's home in Moorsburg, Tenn., after a long illness.

Born Helen Marie Lynch in Cambridge, Mass., she graduated from Bryant College in Providence, R.I.

She married Robert D. Hastings Jr., a native of Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 8, 1942, in Pawtucket, R.I. Hastings died in April 1998 after the couple had been married for 55 years.

After raising her four children, Mrs. Hastings, a Buffalo resident, got a job as a secretary with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1971, she took a job at The Buffalo Evening News.

First, Mrs. Hastings worked for the newspaper as Lucy Lincoln, the paper's advice and tips columnist. She also was a contributor to TV Topics and wrote several feature stories for the paper.

In May 1978, Mrs. Hastings moved to the retail advertising department at the News, where she worked as an advertising account representative, selling advertising to retail stores in the Buffalo area.

Among other accomplishments, she was instrumental in starting the "Extraordinary Gifts" section, which appears in the paper during the holiday season each year.

She was the United Way representative in her department and was known for always exceeding her goals at collecting contributions.

Mrs. Hastings retired in 1988. Upon her retirement, Murray B. Light, then editor of The Buffalo News, praised Mrs. Hastings as "an intelligent, personable woman who has a wonderful knack of winning and keeping friends."

Mrs. Hastings loved antiques and enjoyed collecting them.

Survivors include a daughter, Jeanne M. Hastings of Moorsburg, Tenn.; three sons, Robert D. III of Cincinnati, Alan T. of Buffalo, and Timothy J. of the Town of Tonawanda; a sister, Margaret C. Lynch of Pawtucket, R.I.; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Rose of Lima Church, Parker and Parkside avenues. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.


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