Helen E. Henke, age 81, of Brownton, Minnesota, passed away on Thursday, February 13, 2020, at Hutchinson Health.
Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 11:00 A.M. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brownton with interment in the church cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020, from 10:00-11:00 A.M. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brownton.
Helen was born on February 14, 1938, on the family homestead in Winthrop, Sibley County, Minnesota. She was the daughter of William and Mary (Borchert) Thenemann. Helen was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in her faith as a youth, both at Zion Lutheran Church in Winthrop. She received her education in Winthrop and was a graduate with the Winthrop High School class of 1956.
Helen and Lee first met at a roller rink and became an elegant dance skating couple. Skating became a regular family passion for the next 20 years. Helen was active in the Immanuel Lutheran Church, including Ladies Aid, and Alter Guild, teaching Sunday school for 25 years. Lee and Helen were married on October 21, 1956, and farmed their land south of Hutchinson for over 50 years. Like most farmers, Helen could shingle a roof or drive a bailer and loved working with animals and was particularly fond of her cats.
Helen worked at 3M for many years and recanted with a smile that she packed videotape that went to the moon on the first Apollo mission. Fact or legend, it makes for a good story. Helen also worked at Green Giant, JCPenney, and Cash Wise Foods. She was very involved with 4H as a leader and mentor when her boys were members and was an avid gardener of both flowers and vegetables. She made hundreds of quilts large and small which won awards and were sent to many countries around the world for charity relief. Helen was an amazing baker and canner. Her dill pickles were legendary and everyone loved her snickerdoodle cookies. She was an avid and accomplished roller skater and skated into her 60’s. Helen had so many great memories spending time with her grandchildren and family out at the family farm.
Helen Elaine Henke (Thenemann) passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, February 13, 2020, one day shy of age 82.
Helen is survived by her Husband, Lee, of 63 years; Sons, Paul and his spouse, Jenise, Steve and his spouse, Margo; Granddaughters, Adele and Celine; Brother, Gordon Thenemann; Sister, Agnes Sandquist; Brother-in-law, Orlin (Butch) Henke and his spouse, Judy.
Helen is preceded in death by her Parents, William and Mary Thenemann; Brother, Carl Thenemann; Sister, Marvel Moore and her husband, Paul; Brother-in-law, Elmer Sandquist.