Helen A. Jorgensen - Vermillion, S.D.

VERMILLION, S.D. — Helen A. Jorgensen, 88, of Vermillion, S.D., died Monday, March 15, at the Sanford Vermillion Care Center.

Helen Newell, the youngest of Maude (Gano) and George Newell’s six children, was born on their family farm in Hutchinson County, near Scotland, S.D., November 11, 1921, the last surviving member of her immediate family.

Helen grew up on the farm loving the animals and making pets out of several of them. Helen’s older brother, Ken, gave her the nickname ‘Sol’ because of her sunny disposition. She attended teacher’s college and then taught in rural schools for two years before being employed in the first self-service grocery store in Yankton, S.D. She married Roy Jorgensen on February 6, 1943.

Shortly after their marriage, Roy departed to the South Pacific, serving in the Second World War. On Christmas Eve, 1945, Helen opened the door of her apartment to find Roy standing on the step to greet her, home safely at last from his military service. Overwhelmed with joy, she introduced him to their first-child, 21-month-old Bernice Ann. In the years that followed they had two more children: James Roy was born February 14, 1948, and Steven Mark followed on January 6, 1957. In 1968, Helen, Roy, and Steve moved to Vermillion, S.D.

Helen was a familiar face at Tom and Bud’s Super Valu, where she worked as a bookkeeper and cashier. Helen was instrumental in starting the Food Pantry at Trinity Lutheran Church, where she continued to volunteer for many years. Helen and Roy enjoyed many years of fellowship at Trinity, and also at the Vermillion Senior Center.

Helen always closed her day with this prayer of thanksgiving: "Thank you for the 65 years of marriage Roy and I had together. What a blessing! Thank you for our children, Ann, Jim and Steve. Thank you for their spouses, Ken, Kim and Ginny. And thank you for their children, our grandchildren, Scott (and Sheryl), Lori, Michael, Matthew (and Misty), Joel (and Bethiee), Chad (and Jenny), Bethany (and Will), Janelle (and Brian), Mark (and Hilary). And for those three little great-granddaughters, Aspen, Ashley and Maria. They’ve brought so much joy to our lives! Let there be peace."

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Roy Jorgensen, two sisters Bernice Newell and Beulah (Glen) Collinge, and by her three brothers Gerald (Elma, Nell), Ray (Elsie), and Ken (Rose) Newell.

And finally, "Write this down," Mom said. "Thank you to everybody. I’ll miss you all!"

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, March 20, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion, with burial of ashes at a later date. Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at the church.

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