Thief River Falls – Helen Kulseth, 101 of Thief River Falls, died gracefully on Monday, March 28, 2016 at the Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, surrounded by her loving family.
Funeral services to celebrate her life were held Friday, April 1 at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. Ben Carlsen officiating. Casket bearers include Jason Ott, Jordan Hasbrouck, Dean Johnson, Kayla Estabrooks, Kenya Olson and Braedon Hasbrouck. Honorary casket bearers include the wonderful staff at Thief River Care Center. Interment was held at the Bethlehem Cemetery, New Solum Township, Marshall County.
Helen Roberta Elofson was born on May 24, 1914 at home in Thief River Falls, to R.E. and Agnes (Hovland) Elofson. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church. She attended Northrop Grade School and Central School. When Helen was 15 years old, her mother died, and she left school to care for her five siblings. She learned to cook, clean and how to sew with a lot of help from her maternal grandmother.
When Helen was 18 years old, she met a handsome, shy young man driving a 1926 Chevrolet. After driving by her three times, he finally got up the nerve to ask her if she would like a ride and since she really liked his car, she said “yes!” That was the beginning of a 76 year long love story.
Helen married Leslie Kulseth on Nov. 10, 1935 at the church parsonage in Thief River Falls. To this union, two daughters were born, Elody Gayle and Shirley Ann. They lived in Thief River Falls until 2001, when they moved to Viking. Viking was a community where everyone called her “Grandma.” She was very happy there.
She loved being a wife and mother. Caring for her family and home was the joy of her life. Nothing made her happier than “Get Togethers” with as many of her family as possible. Helen was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church and was active in the Women’s Group. She was a Cub Scout leader, enjoyed volunteering, loved cats, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, reading, collecting dolls, and fishing with her family.
Survivors include her daughters, Elody Olson of Thief River Falls and Shirley (Rev. Ken) West of Reedsburg, Wis.; eight grandchildren, Cindy (Ike) Ellingsen, Natalie (Gary) Bloomquist, Cheri (Dean Johnson) Hasbrouck, Jonathan Carlson, Kristine (Jerry) Harlow, Chris (Christy) Olson, Craig Olson, Carole (Lonnie) Friesz; eight great-grandchildren, Jordan (Bethany), Linnea, Hannah (Mark), Jason (Sarah), Braedon (Janica), Kayla (Luke), Kenya (Kevin), Travis; four great-great grandsons, Hunter, Ryker, Zane, Jaxon; sister-in-law, Virginia Elofson; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, friends; and her beloved cat, Missy.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Leslie in 2009; sons-in-law, Rev. Marvin Carlson and Amorin Olson; parents; siblings, Anfred “Andy” (Vi) Elofson, Robert (Ellen) Elofson, Verna (Rex) Johnson, Ruth (Allen) Jones, and Donald “Donny” Elofson.
The family wishes to thank Thief River Care Center and Staff for their exceptional care of Helen, where she has resided since her 99th birthday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Thief River Care Center or Redeemer Lutheran Church both in Thief River Falls.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.