Helen Gehrke, 86, of Aneta, ND passed away November 9, 2022, at Aneta Parkview Health Center, Aneta, ND.
Helen Janice Hanson was born March 29, 1936, in Field Township rural McVille, ND. Because of a bad storm the doctor couldn’t be there so her Aunt Marie was there for her delivery.
Her parents were Torris and Thora (Kvamme) Hanson. When Helen was two years old her mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis and admitted to San Haven Sanitorium. Helen went to live with her Aunt & Uncle Mabel and Oswald Ophaug on their farm a few miles north of her home. She lived with them until she was six years old when she returned home to be with her dad and siblings and attended rural Field school. She graduated from McVille High School in 1953 and continued her education at Mayville Teachers College. In 1955 she was employed by New York Life Insurance in Fargo for five years.
Helen married Charles Gehrke on January 30, 1960, at rural Our Saviors Lutheran Church. They farmed ten miles north of Aneta and raised three daughters, Stephanie (Randy) Engberg, Patricia (Grant) Wiest and Janelle Gehrke.
Helen was an excellent cook and baked hundreds of loaves of bread much to the delight of her grandchildren. She was also an excellent seamstress and loved dressing her three girls in matching handsewn outfits, not always to their delight. She could sniff out a bargain and her favorite shopping spot was any Thrift store or auction sale she would find. Charles got very adept at building clothes racks. Helen had a green thumb and grew beautiful flowers and vegetables. One of her favorite forms of parental discipline involved picking weeds in said gardens. Helen was an active member of Sundahl Lutheran Church, Rugh Homemakers, and the American Cancer Society.
Grateful to have shared her life are her husband of 62 years, Charles and Daughters Stephanie (Randy) Engberg, Grand Prairie, TX; Patricia (Grant) Wiest, Herried, SD; and Janelle Gehrke, Bondurant, IA; grandchildren Nicholas (Prita), Brandon and Hannah Engberg, Adam, Luke and Mallory Wiest and Nyanti and Olivia Gehrke. She is also survived by brother, Orvin Hanson and sister Phyllis (Richard) Trostad, sisters-in-law Gretchen Hanson, Dorothy Gehrke, Irene (David) Halverson, Bonnie Gehrke and Juliet Aslakson.
She was preceded in death by her parents, son-in-law Grant Wiest, brother Roger Hanson, sister Marjorie Hanson, brothers-in-law Earl Gehrke, Gene Gehrke, and Norman Aslakson.
A Memorial Services will be Friday, November 18, 2022 at 10:30 am in the Sundahl Lutheran Church, Aneta, ND, visitation will be one prior to the Service. Interment will be in the Silent Hill Cemetery, Aneta, ND