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Helyn Wakeley

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WAUSA Funeral services for Helyn Wakeley, 93, Wausa, were Jan. 23 at Evangelical Covenant Church, Wausa. Pastor Lane Grone officiated.

The service was also live streamed on the Evangelical Covenant Church Facebook Page.

Public visitation was Friday at the church.

Social distancing guidelines were followed. Masks were required.

Brockhaus Funeral Home, Wausa was in charge of arrangements.

Helyn died Jan. 14, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society, Bloomfield.

Helyn Wakeley was born Jan. 4, 1928, at O’Neill, to Oscar and Esther (Pine) Lindberg. Following the death of her mother in 1934, Helyn was raised by her aunt and uncle, Alma and Fred Enquist, rural Hartington. She attended a one-room country school and graduated from Wausa High School in 1945. She earned her teaching license that summer and at only 17 years old, began teaching in the country school she had previously attended. She continued to teach off and on in several one-room country schools until 1960. At an early age, her musical ability was evident from the time she sang “Jesus Loves Me” at family gatherings as a preschooler. She found her true passion when she started piano lessons and developed an extraordinary talent to play by ear. This was borne partially from necessity, as she often practiced in the dark before there was electricity in the area and when lamp fuel was a precious commodity during the Depression. In 1946 while playing the piano at a young people’s gathering, Helen caught the eye of Charles “Chuck” Wakeley, a young GI who had recently returned home from WWII. She married the love of her life, June 11, 1947. Together, the soul mates farmed and raised seven children in the Pleasant Valley area.

Helyn shared her musical talents with many groups in the area - as pianist at the Covenant Church for 60 years, choir pianist, with Charity singers, at nursing homes, weddings, funerals, birthday parties, Covenant Cedars Bible Camp, and the Wausa Smorgasbord. Countless were blessed by her gift of music.

She was a faithful member of the Wausa Covenant Church since 1953, where she served as a deaconess, was a member of Covenant Women, and together with her husband taught a Sunday School class for young married couples and also served as Junior High Sponsors for a time.

The Wakeleys lived on their Pleasant Valley farm until 1997, when they moved to Wausa. They spent their retirement years playing card games with dear friends, supporting their grandchildren at every event, traveling, and hosting endless coffee times around the table. Recently, they resided at Countryside Villa, Wausa, and then Good Samaritan, Bloomfield. After losing her best friend on her 93rd birthday, Helyn followed him to Heaven just ten days later.

Helyn was a woman of devout faith, kindness, and resolute strength. She was a giver in every sense of the word. Whether it was a stranger that she fed from her garden, or her children and grandchildren for whom she prayed every day, everyone she encountered was touched by her kindness, generosity, and warmth. There was always “a little something” to go with the endless coffee. A personification of Proverbs 31, Helyn truly “brought good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

She is survived by her children, Larry (Marcia) Wakeley, Hartington; Merileen (Bruce) Thorson, Round Lake, M.; Michael (Diane) Wakeley, Wausa; Beth (Laddy) Carlson, Las Vegas, Nev.; and Jeffrey (Melissa) Wakeley, Lyons; 21 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren, with three more on the way; half-sisters, Edith Millan (Carlos) and Kathleen Seropian (Albert); half-brothers, Peter (Lynn), Harold (Roberta), Joe (Lisa), and Gerard (Lorraine) Lindberg; and sister-in-law, Gladys Wakeley.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 73 and one half years, Charles; sons, Richard, in infancy, and David; daughter, Charlyn; her parents; half-brother, John Lindberg; and her adoptive parents.