Heleen Nielsen

Friday, January 18, 2013

Heleen Nielsen, age 95, of Storm Lake, died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 at the Methodist Manor Retirement Community in Storm Lake.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, Jan. 17, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Storm Lake. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at 3 p.m. at Elkhorn Lutheran Cemetery in Elkhorn. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements.

Heleen Nielsen was born June 18, 1917 in Elk Horn, the daughter of Hilmar and Marie (Mortensen) Nielsen.

Growing up, Heleen attended Elk Horn High School where she graduated in 1934. Following high school graduation, she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls in 1952. She then continued her education at the University of Colorado in Greeley, Colo. where she received her Master's Degree in 1958.

Heleen taught school for 44 years where she spent the majority of her time teaching kindergarten at West School in Storm Lake. She also taught in Audubon County, Kimballton, Harlan and Waterloo. Heleen retired in 1980.

Special interests of Heleen included her family, music, church, friendships, playing cards, reading and 5 year olds. She wrote a book, "Were You Here Tomorrow," a timeless collection of kindergarten wisdom, anecdotes from the lives of kindergarten children that Heleen taught. Heleen became a church organist at the age of 12 and continued as long as possible. She began playing at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Storm Lake in 1954. Playing the organ was the delight of her life.

Heleen was a member of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Storm Lake where she took part in Sarah Circle, small group and was the organist. She also was a member of Dollars for Scholars, Friends of the Library, P.E.O. Chapter J.D., Delphiam Study Club, National Education Association, and the Witter Gallery Auxiliary. She was a life member of the Iowa State Education Association and Buena Vista County Hospital Auxiliary. Heleen belonged to the Storm Lake High School Crescendo Club, National Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Okoboji Bible Camp and the Scandinavian Society in Buena Vista County.

Those left to cherish her memory include her sister-in-law, Barbara Nielsen of Chicago, Ill.; nieces and nephews: Steven (Phyllis) Nielsen of Ripon, Wis.; Terry (Patricia) Nielsen of Chicago, Ill.; Devin Nielsen of St. Croix, Virgin Islands; Pamela (Gary) Bartachek of Cedar Rapids; Cathy (Wendell) Pace of Dallas, Texas; Lonnie (Mary Jo) Nielsen of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.; Loree (John) Weber of Spring Hills, Fla.; 15 great-nieces and nephews; 13 great-great-nieces and nephews; life-long friend, Wanda Sievers; and many other friends.

Heleen was preceded in death by her parents, Hilmar and Marie Nielsen; brothers, Orval Nielsen and Paul Nielsen; and sister-in-law, Helen Nielsen.