Mary Helms, age 85, Clark, died in the Sanford USD Medical Center at Sioux Falls on Tuesday morning, November 9, 2010 after suffering an apparent stroke at her home on Saturday, November 6.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 10:30 AM in the St. Michaels Catholic Church at Clark with The Reverend Bill Hamak officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Boniface Cemetery at Clark. The organist will be Eileen Heilman and Bonnie Graves will be the song leader. The honorary Casketbearers are her granddaughters, Erika Boebel, Darby Helms, Sacha Wise, Lana Lindeman, Katie Wright and Callie Helms. The active Casketbearers are her grandsons, Tim Wilson, Corey Helms, Tyler Kloster, Trent, Derek and Jacob Helms.
Visitation will be held on Thursday from 5-7PM at the Furness Funeral Home at Clark with a Liturgical Wake service and Rosary at 7PM. The casket will also be open at the Church 1 hour prior to the Mass on Friday morning.
She was born Mary Magdeline Lewno on a farm near Waubay, SD, the daughter of John and Martha (Kampa) Lewno. She attended parochial school in Grenville. Following her confirmation, Mary took on her confirmation name of Ann for her middle name and has been known as Mary A. Helms for many years. Following her schooling, she worked in a bakery and she did home care for families with children including an aunt whose husband had died at an early age. Marys own mother had also died at an early age so she had the compassion for someone going through this situation.
In 1945 she was united in marriage to Donald Helms at Waubay. The couple lived at Waubay for a short time and then he was transferred to Huron where they resided until moving to Clark in 1959. To this union, 6 children were born. While in Clark she and her husband built 8 homes and resold them. The marriage later ended in divorce and Mary remained in Clark working at the Red Owl, cleaned a local bank and even took in laundry for people in the community. Mary also served as the Clark County Treasurer on the Democratic Ticket for 20 years.
Mary has been a member of St. Michaels Catholic Church since moving to Clark in 1959 as her faith was a very important part of her daily life. Mary was a member of the St. Michaels Altar society and also took a very important role in assisting at funeral luncheons.
Mary thoroughly enjoyed a good time, having played cards and bowled for many years. She loved to dance, listen to music, spend time in her flower gardens, especially when a son-in-law was trying to mow, and sewed. Althoug she was not a quilter, she made each of her grandchildren a quilt on their graduation from high school. Mary will long be remembered for her love of baking, especially for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For many, she will be remembered for her infectious smile which was always present.
Grateful for having shared in her life are her children, Sharon Wilson of Blue Springs, MO, Dennis (Roxene) Helms of DeSmet, Terry (Deanna) Helms of Aberdeen, Douglas Helms of Clemmons, NC, Bonnie (Terry) Kloster of Clark and Gregory (Monica) Helms of Sioux Falls. She also leaves 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were her parents, a son-in-law, Floyd Wilson and brothers, Walter & Stanley Lewno and a brother in infancy.
email condolences and an on-line registry at www.furnessfuneralhome.com