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The family matriarch. She followed the activities of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and imparted years of wisdom sprinkled with stoic pragmatism to all until her end. This beautiful woman died on March 7, 2022, at the age of 97 at Boutwells Landing in Stillwater, Minnesota, where she resided since the passing of her husband in 2013. Born May 7, 1924, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, Helen graduated in 1946 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in home economics. She married Sigurd Sivertson, her high school sweetheart, in June of that year. Sigurd also attended the University of Wisconsin and went on to complete his medical education in 1947. During Sigurd’s internal medicine internships in Duluth and LaCrosse, Helen taught home economics to young women. When hostilities commenced in Korea in June 1950, Sigurd enlisted and the Army stationed Helen and Sigurd in Kobe, Japan where Helen remained, alone with a toddler and a newborn, while Sigurd was deployed to Korea. Upon returning from Korea in 1952, they spent the next three years in Rochester, Minnesota, while Sigurd completed his residency at the Mayo Clinic. In 1955, they returned home to LaCrosse where Sigurd joined his father, Martin Sivertson, and others at the Gundersen Clinic and where they settled to raise the rest of their family. In 1968, Helen and Sigurd uprooted their family once again and moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Sigurd joined the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and where they finished raising their children. Helen continued to promote the education of women. Helen was a 75-year member of P.E.O., a philanthropic organization dedicated to educating women, celebrating the advancement of women, and motivating women to attain their highest aspirations. Upon Sigurd’s retirement in 1989, Helen and Sigurd fulfilled their wanderlust by spending the next seven years traveling the country in their motor home—fondly named “Gus” after Helen’s father—eventually settling in Sarasota, Florida where they spent ten years golfing, socializing with Badger expats, and enjoying the beach each winter while spending the summers with their children on Lac Courte Oreilles in northern Wisconsin. In 2005, for the final chapter of their lives, Sigurd and Helen moved to Stillwater to be closer to their family. Helen is survived by her six children, Leif, Eric (Cathy Bross), Alf (Michelle Barrette), Kris (Susan Sivertson), Helen (John Drawbert), and Ann (Dan Harris), 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by Sigurd’s sister, Astrid Sivertson Pabst, age 95, the last of the generation, who resides in Tucson, Arizona, and her brother’s two children, Jonathan Winter, and Jennifer Winter. There will be a gathering in celebration of Helen’s life on May 6, 2022, at Boutwells Landing, 5600 Norwich Pkwy, Oak Park Heights, Minnesota from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in honor of Helen to the Lac Courte Oreilles Lakes Association, PO Box 702, Hayward, WI 54843.
Friday, May 6, 2022
11:00am - 1:00pm (Central time)
Boutwell's Landing Swanson Chapel - Oak Park Heights
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