Helen L. Nielsen, 86, formerly of Powers Lake, died Oct. 24, 2018, at the Baptist Health Care Center in Bismarck.
Helen Louise VanBeck was born on Sept. 16, 1932, in Detroit, Mich., to Frank and Josephine (Demaire) VanBeck. She attended elementary school at the Patronage of St. Joseph and high school at Nativity of Our Lord, graduating in 1950. She worked at Wilson Manufacturing Co. in Detroit for three years.
Helen’s faith always played a significant role in her life. She was baptized, confirmed and made her First Communion at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Detroit and years later became a member of St. James Catholic Church in Powers Lake.
She met Erven Nielsen in 1952 on a trip to Kansas. The two were married on June 17, 1953, in Bowbells and later had their marriage blessed at St. James Catholic Church in Powers Lake. They spent 59 wonderful years together and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a big celebration in Powers Lake on June 17, 2003.
Helen and Erven raised seven children on the farmstead where Erven grew up, and their family has grown to include 23 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren (and counting).
Helen served as a 4-H leader for many years and was recognized as a Burke County 4-H Pioneer Leader for her service. She was a member of the Battleview V.F.W. Auxiliary, volunteered at the Burke County Fair and cooked for over 30 years at various restaurants in Powers Lake, Tioga, Lignite and Battleview.
She enjoyed reading, a good game of Bingo and traveling to the casino. But what she loved most were visits from her family and friends. Helen and Erven’s farm house would overflow with people, noise and love every holiday when the family would come together for food, fun and celebration. Later her home at Edgewood Vista in Bismarck would become a new place for the family to gather on special occasions.
Grateful for having shared Helen’s life: Seven children, Gloria (Ric) Larman, Grafton, Marie Jo Mogren, Kenmare, Erven Jr. (Sandra) Nielsen, Bismarck, Roxanne (Jeff) Hanson, Bowbells, Patricia (Steven) Jensen, Tioga, Chris (Teresa) Nielsen, Park River, Frances (Chuck) Stewart, Tioga; 23 grandchildren; 57 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; aunt Frances Kaucic, Warren, Michi.; one sister-in-law, Bernice (Ray) Nicholson, Blanco, N.M.; several nieces and nephews; and special friend Marianne Wenzel.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; one infant brother, Frank Jr.; one son-in-law, Leroy Mogren; great-grandson, Dawson Thompson and great-granddaughter, McKinley Craft; along with other loved ones.
Mass of Christian Burial: Monday, October 29, 2018, at 10:30 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, Powers Lake.
Interment: St. James Catholic Cemetery, Powers Lake, ND.
Visitation: Sunday from 4 to 5 p.m. at the church, followed by Recitation of the Holy Rosary and a Vigil Prayer Service at 5 p.m.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at www.thompsonlarson.com.