Nature 14

Wilma M. (McDowall) Helfrich

June 17, 1928 ~ October 6, 2019 (age 91)


Services for Wilma will be held at a later date in Dickinson, North Dakota.  Wilma died on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at the Stevens Community Medical Center in Morris.  She was 91 years old. 

Wilma M. McDowall was born June 17, 1928.  She grew up in Carson, ND.  On Dec. 27, 1948 Wilma was united in marriage to Louis James Helfrich at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glen Ullin, ND. Thereafter, they made their home in Dickinson, ND. To this union, seven children were born.

After their children were raised, Wilma returned to college and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Dickinson State University.  She spent her time working as an addictions counselor at the local mental health center.

Wilma’s creative capabilities were unmatched: designing and sewing wedding dresses; designing and decorating their home; designing and building furniture and creating an extensive collection of art work.

Wilma was a pillar of love and kindness, not just for her large family but for many others as well.  Her legacy of friendship to encourage and inspire will continue to impact lives for many years to come.

Late in life, Wilma and Louie moved to Morris, MN to be closer to their daughter, Melanie.

Louie preceded Wilma in death in December of 2018. Wilma continued to live in Morris at West Wind Village until the time of her death.  She died on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at the Stevens Community Medical Center in Morris, MN at 91 years of age. 

Wilma is survived by her six children: M. Shannon Helfrich of Tucson, AZ, Rebecca Aberle of Dallas, TX, Catherine (John) Ihle of Broken Arrow, OK, Charlie Helfrich of Tucson, AZ, Deborah (John) Campbell of Elk River, MN, and Melanie (Mark) Fohl of Morris, MN; 14 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, one brother, Tom (Hazel) McDowall of Laurel, MT, one sister, Dawn (Pat) Miller of Clarksville, PA, one sister-in-law, Alice Kobilansky of Bismarck, ND and one brother-in-law, John (Diane) Helfrich of Spearfish, SD.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Louie, one son, Thomas; sisters Judy Heaps and Bonnie McDowall; brothers Daryl, Lyle and Marley McDowall. 

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of arrangements. 

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