Marlene Madonna Helling – Obit

Marlene Madonna Helling, 85, Fertile, MN, died Sunday, June 28, 2020 under the care of Fair Meadow Nursing Home and Hospice after her long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Marlene was born June 7, 1935, to John and Alice (Sanders) Hornung in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She attended school at Sacred Heart Parochial School in East Grand Forks, MN. As a youth, she was an avid swimmer and spent her summers in high school as a lifeguard. She also enjoyed ice skating and roller skating with her eight siblings.

In 1955 Marlene married James “Jimmy” Stiles. They had one son, Steven James. On October 10, 1957, Marlene was united in marriage to Manley Helling. Manley came to the marriage with a daughter, Linda, from a previous marriage. Together they welcomed Randi, Kip, Kandi, Kindi and Lindi to their family. Manley and Marlene were married for 62 years.

Marlene began working in retail, all the while being a full-time mother to six children. After moving to Fertile in 1975 from Grand Coulee Dam, Washington, Marlene became a nurse’s aide at Fair Meadow Nursing Home. She loved the 22 years that she spent caring for the residents. Her commitment to her job was admired by her coworkers and employers and she inspired many with her strong work ethic. Her devotion to working with the elderly will be remembered by all who she had the privilege to work with.

Marlene was a wonderful seamstress. She also enjoyed crocheting beautiful doilies and sweaters for her grandchildren, as well as being known for her delicious jams and jelly. In retirement, she volunteered at Fair Meadow Nursing Home, participated in Red Hat Ladies and kept up with all of her lifelong hobbies. Marlene will be remembered by many for her strong work ethic, her fun spirit, and her dedication to family which includes 22 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.

Marlene is survived by her children, Linda Bigley, Golden, CO, Steven (Kym) Stiles, Spokane, WA, Randi (Jeffrey) Lindberg, Baxter, MN, Kip (Nanci Jo) Helling, Grand Forks, ND, Kandi (James) Halterman, Swansboro, NC, Kindi (Danny) Hasbrouck, Fertile, MN, and Lindi Mosher, Queen Creek, AZ; 22 grandchildren; and 36 greatgrandchildren. Also surviving are siblings, Shirley Scarbo, Lansing, MI, Robert Hornung, Seattle, WA, Donald Hornung, Los Angeles, CA, Eugene Hornung, High Road, MO, Connie Masihdas, St. Paul, MN, and Bonnie Schaefer, Lansing, MI. She was preceded in death by her mother, Alice; father, John; husband, Manley; sisters, Jeanine Noppe and Joann Garvie; brothers-in-law, Doug Garvie, Robert Noppe, Donald Piepkorn, Charles Sorenson, Ken Larson, Kenneth Helling and Milo Helling; and sister-in-law, Clara Piepkorn

Memorial Service: 11:00 AM, Thursday, July 9, 2020 at Concordia Lutheran Church, Fertile, MN, following all of the Minnesota and CDC COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. All are encouraged to wear a mask.

Visitation: One hour before the service

Burial: Concordia Lutheran Cemetery, Fertile, MN.

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Arrangements with Erikson-Vik-Ganje Funeral Home in Fertile, MN