Leda Marietta Helander

By on October 4, 2010

Leda Marietta Helander, 98, of DeKalb, formerly of Toluca, Ill., passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 02, 2010, at Oak Crest, the DeKalb Area Retirement Center, where she had recently made her home.

She was born August 11, 1912 in Rutland, Ill., the daughter of Lewis and Ollie (Harms) Vinecore.

Leda grew up on the family farm in Rutland and attended local schools.

She graduated from Rutland High School and then attended the National College of Education for two years in Evanston. She received her teaching certificate and taught first through eighth grade at one room school house, Antioch School, in Toluca.

Leda’s heart found its match in high school. She and Russell Helander were united in marriage on March 7, 1936.

They began their new life together back on a local farmstead, working the fields and tending to the livestock. In the 1970’s they kept the farm but left the fields behind moving to the “city” in Toluca.

Although Leda held a certificate in teaching, she held a masters degree in making their house a home, raising two daughters, Janice and Joyce.

Leda was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church of Wenona, Bethany Lutheran Chapter of WELCA, the Bennington Unit of the Home Extension of Toluca and was a 4-H leader as well. She also made many memories traveling with Russell while he was Rotary District Governor.

Leda was quiet, but strong and stoic. She had a giving heart for anyone in need and her love for her grandchildren knew no bounds. Both Leda and Russell enjoyed local travel as well as overseas. Among their favorites was a Rotary International Convention in Switzerland that doubled as an excuse to make a pilgrimage back to Sweden to celebrate Russell’s heritage. In her younger years, her family, along with others, drove in a caravan to Wisconsin to enjoy the outdoors while camping under the stars.

She is survived by two daughters Janice (John) Docherty of Sycamore, Ill. and Joyce (James) Helander-Serafin of St. Charles; seven grandchildren: Kathleen (Kevin) Callaghan and their family Bryant, Rohan, and Dylan of DeKalb, Daniel Docherty and his family, Lauren and Margaret of Sycamore, David (Susan) Docherty and their family Aaron and Phillip Docherty and Courtney (Amos) Sutherland, all Macomb, Ill.,
Teresa (Kevin) Woods and their family Michael, Nicole, Matthew, and Jacqueline of St. Cloud and Becker, Minn., Bart Tack and his daughter Amanda of Rockford, Ill., Katie (Ken) Fetters of Chicago and Joe Serafin and his son Anthony of Schaumberg, Ill.; one sister in-law, Martha Vinecore-Andeen of Milwaukee, one nephew, Gregg (Kathy) Gardiner of Eureka, Calif., one niece, Karol Jones of Westminister, Colo. and a special family friend, Elaine Sheets of Toluca.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Russell, one brother Richard Vinecore and one nephew Larry Vinecore.

A funeral service to celebrate her life will be held at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Wenona, Ill., on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 11 a.m., with two hours of visitation to precede the service. Rev. Raymond Barkley, pastor of the church, will officiate and interment will follow at the Bethany Lutheran Cemetery in Wenona, IL. The family will also host a memorial service in her honor at Oak Crest at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the “Leda Helander Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.