January 14, 2021
Our dear mother, Helen Mae Helt, passed away on January 4, 2021, in Colfax, Washington. She celebrated her 99th birthday a week prior to her passing.
Mother was born on the family farm in Endicott, Washington, on December 28, 1921, to parents Adam and Mary Weitz. She graduated from Endicott High School in 1940, where she met her future husband, Ernest Helt. They spent most of their married life in Endicott, where Ernie was a farmer, except for a brief time in Tacoma, Washington, during the war.
Her faith was a priority throughout her life. She was a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church and served on numerous committees. She and her dear friend, Jean Repp, shared the rewarding job of teaching Pre-Schoolers. Her purse was a treasure on Sunday's filled with a trove of hard candy to help her grandchildren make it through the service!
One of the greatest highlights of Helen Mae's life was a trip to Berlin, Vienna, and Salzburg with her husband and daughter Jane to visit her son serving in Berlin. The family enjoyed summer vacations to Priest Lake's Hill's Resort for over 30 years. She enjoyed huckleberry picking, daily boat rides and spending time with the Weitz Family.
In the years following Ernie's death in 1975, Helen Mae remained active, maintained the family farm, enjoyed bowling, and playing pinochle with dear friends. Working at the Endicott school cafeteria and attending school events were activities that she thoroughly enjoyed!! An annual family event was making German Sausage and the three day process provided each family with delicious sausage for an entire year!!! Mother loved roses and lilacs and receiving flowers from her family provided great joy! She had no fear riding her lawn mower in to her 80's and maneuvered it with the confidence of someone half her age! Helen Mae looked forward to her sporting events! Whether it was Gonzaga Basketball, the Mariners, or the Seahawks, she always tuned in and impressed us with her knowledge of players and strategy! Great joy was reflected on Mother's face whenever her grandchildren gathered for family events and we all looked forward to the predictable smell of her cooking upon entering the house. After becoming a widow at age fifty-two, this saying is so appropriate for our mother, "toughness is in the soul and spirit, not the muscle." She was diminutive in stature, but a woman of strong faith and fortitude until the end.
Helen Mae is preceded in death by her parents, husband, Ernest Helt, son Dan, brother Dr. Claude Weitz, and sister Jean Kaiser.
She is survived by daughter, Jane Helt Veter (Dennis), son Matt, Spokane, Washington, daughter, Susan Heglar (Paul) St. John, Washington, their children, daughter Allison Sherwood (Rick), son Rip Sherwood, Spokane, Washington, son Jon Heglar, Friday Harbor, Washington, his children, Ava and Owen Heglar, Augusta, Georgia. Special thanks to nephews Dick and Bill Kaiser for the help they have given throughout the years, neighbors Dan and Carol Larson, and friend, Jean Repp of Spokane. Nephews Tom and Anne Weitz, Priest Lake , Idaho, Dr. Bill Weitz and Judy Weitz, Seattle, Washington, and Bruce and Kelly Weitz, Seattle, Washington and their children.
Our family would like to give recognition to Dr. Gary Candelaria, with the Whitman Medical Group for the wonderful care and compassion he has shown to our mother throughout the years. Our thanks to The Courtyard at Colfax for the care they provided during her stay.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private Memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Friday, January 15, 2021, at 11 a.m. Donations in her name may be made to Trinity Lutheran Church, Endicott, Washington, The Endicott Cemetery or the charity of your choice.
Bruning Funeral Home, Colfax, Washington, is in charge of arrangements.