Obituary of Helen Koehler (1928 – 2021) – New Brighton, MN
Helen Mayme Koehler
Born: June 9, 1928 in Peru, IL
Death: October 11, 2021 in New Brighton, MN
Helen Mayme Koehler, 93, a longtime resident of Peru, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 11, 2021 at the Beacon Haven Nursing Home in New Brighton, MN, where she was lovingly cared for last year.
Helen was born to Harry and Charlotte Mauritzen on June 9, 1928, in the family home on 6th Street in Peru. Her parents were instrumental in fostering the love and passion that Helen demonstrated daily, first and foremost for her family, home, music and church. She was a passionate gardener, creating a peaceful environment with her flowers, waterfalls and fish ponds. She was a dedicated member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Peru since her teenage years, serving in several capacities, but particularly as a soloist. She loved to sing and for many years belonged to a local band called Les Harmonaires.
Helen married her childhood sweetheart Merle “Mac” Koehler in 1946. The young couple built their home on 10th Street in Peru, side by side, and they stayed there, expanding the house as the house grew. family was growing. Together they raised five children: Diane (Michael) Kastello of Hampton, VA; Mick (Pamela) Koehler from Peru; Lori (Fritz) Neuschel of Glenview, Illinois; Wendy (Fritz) Hurst from Wilmette, IL and Sandra (Timothy Philbin) from Chicago, IL. Her daughter-in-law and her sons-in-law adored her and she was so grateful to have them in her life. Helen was also a 15-year-old grandmother and 19-year-old great-grandmother, all of whom will be sadly missed.
Helen had a boundless energy for adventure and travel. She loved hiking and was a member of the Starved Rock Hiking Club. Her two-week unguided canoe trip through the remote waters of the Everglades, a tough hike from the Half-Dome to Yosemite when she was 65, and a thrilling African safari when she was 88, highlight just a few of those adventures. .
Helen and Mac make their home during the winter months on Sanibel Island, Florida. For 53 years, this tranquil island has become a second home for them, their children and grandchildren. Mom spent much of her time there collecting seashells and birding with other members of Audubon society. She has been an enthusiastic volunteer for over 25 years at the Ding Darling Federal Shelter in Sanibel, Florida. With binoculars in hand, she served as a bird, animal and occasional alligator watcher. One with nature – one with God.
Helen radiated love and will be known for her unconditional love for God and her neighbor.
She asked that there be no official funeral services. Memorials can be directed to Beacon Haven, 1200 Long Lake Road, New Brighton, MN 55112, Audubon Society or Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957.
Published by News Tribune from October 20 to 21, 2021.