Helen Marie Zibell was born on a late April Day, April 27, 1937, during a blizzard. She often shared her family’s adventure: her father, Herbert A. Zibell, having the foresight to drive her mother, Ethel M. (Brown) Zibell, in from their farm days before the anticipated blizzard so that mother could deliver baby Helen safely in the Graceville Hospital.
Helen was baptized, attended Sunday School, and confirmed at Siloah Lutheran Church, Parnell Township, rural Graceville, Minnesota. After attending a country school near their home, Helen attended Graceville High School but transferred to Wheaton High School when her parents decided to move to a farm north of Wheaton. She graduated from Wheaton High School on June 2, 1955, and from November of 1955 through December 15, 1979, she worked as a bookkeeper at Erickson-Hellekson-Vye Company in Wheaton. Helen always fondly recalled her years working there and the friendships made with her co-workers. Her Zibell family was full of family activities with her mother’s siblings, and aunts, uncles, and cousins, and her father’s half-sister and husband, John and Elsie Hill, with whom he lived after his parents died.
The family joined Augustana Lutheran Church, rural White Rock, South Dakota, near their new home, and it was at church activities where Helen met the love of her life, John Rose, whose family farm was on the Minnesota side of White Rock. They were married on October 14, 1961, and always lived in Wheaton, but were very active in farm, neighborhood, and church activities. Helen and Johnnie took good care of their aging parents and aunts and uncles, including many years of spending afternoons with Helen’s mom and Johnnie’s brother at local care centers. Dedicated to keeping family history and connections alive with both the Zibell and Rose families, Helen was our family historian and faithful correspondent. She had a great talent for bookkeeping and keeping the Rose farms records straight right up to her passing home.
Although not having children, Helen treasured her Rose nephews and their families, and her brother Gordon’s and sister Margie’s families. She and Johnnie doted on their nieces and nephews and were always delighted to have them around and stop by for visits. After the Augustana Lutheran Church closed, they transferred their membership to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wheaton. Declining health prevented them from being active church members, but they were content in their home and took care of each other.
After Johnnie passed on November 16, 2017, Helen continued living in their Wheaton home until Monday, July 30, when she entered the Wheaton Hospital and later transferred to the Sanford North, Fargo, hospital that evening. Her family kept loving watch throughout her several days’ ordeal, but our aunt, sister, sister-in-law, and cousin passed gently home on August 6th, just before midnight.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her infant sister, Elaine; her brother; brothers-in-law Glendon and Merlyn. She is survived by her sister Margie (Mike) Hormann of Wheaton; sister-in-law Anne Zibell, of Wheaton; nephews and nieces: Ron (Pam) Zibell of Wheaton; Connie (Boyd) Johnson of Detroit Lakes, MN; Duane (Shelly) Zibell of Lewistown, MT; Michelle (Brian) Lemcke of Delmont, SD; Michael (Jodi) Hormann of Wheaton; Mark (Iris) Hormann of Wheaton; Matt (Elaine) Hormann of Wheaton; Mick (Deb) Rose of Morris, MN; Larry (Donna) Rose of Roseau, MN; Gary (Rita) Rose of Glenwood, MN; and many cousins and friends.
We will miss our gentle rose, Helen, greatly, but rejoice that she has “fought the good fight,” faithful to her family and beloved God.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, August 11, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wheaton with Rev. Suzanne Benidt officiating. Organist will be Sara Lee Rinke.
Interment will be in Wildwood Cemetery, Wheaton. Pallbearers will be Michael Hormann, Mark Hormann, Matt Hormann, Ron Zibell, Duane Zibell, Mick Rose, Larry Rose, and Gary Rose.
Visitation will be held Friday, August 10th from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a 6:30 p.m. Prayer Service and Time of Sharing at the Bainbridge Funeral Home in Wheaton. Visitation will continue Saturday morning one hour prior to service time at the church.
To sign the online guestbook or watch the service recording visit www.bainbridgefuneralhome.com.