Helen Jean Striemer was born Nov. 12, 1925, in Alpha, the daughter of Frank and Vandela (Stromberg) Striemer. Helen joined her Heavenly Father Friday, July 4, 2014, from the same home where she was born.
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Helen was baptized and confirmed in the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Alpha. She graduated as valedictorian from Jackson High School in 1943. Helen then went to work for her father in the Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Alpha, which he founded in 1911. She worked with him for 15 months until she enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where she earned a degree in science, literature and arts. Helen played trombone in the University of Minnesota Marching Band. She also had the opportunity to hone her singing voice as a contralto soloist and study voice at the University and the Minneapolis College of Music.
On May 25, 1947, Harlow Kenneth Meium and Helen were united in holy matrimony in a garden wedding ceremony at the home of her parents. Helen taught for four years in one-room schools in rural Jackson County. The marriage of Harlow and Helen was blessed with four children, Vandela Helen, Paul Harlow, Angela Rose and Evangelane Joy.
The family made their home on the farm where Harlow's mother was born in Belmont Township. For the next two decades, they farmed and raised their family. In 1967, Harlow joined his father-in-law at the bank and their family began moving into Alpha for the winter months, living in the apartment above the bank and in later years in the home where Helen was born. In 1976, they received recognition for their Century Farm at the Minnesota State Fair. Helen assisted as needed at the bank throughout the years. After their children were raised, Helen went to work full-time at the bank. In 1992, she was elected as the third president of the bank, following her father and husband. She was one of only a handful of female bank presidents in Minnesota at that time.
Helen's deep commitment to God, her family and serving others shined through in all that she did. She served as choir director for more than 40 years at the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Alpha, and later at the First Presbyterian Church in Jackson when the churches combined. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church for more than 50 years. Helen served as organist, Sunday school teacher and music leader. She was an ordained elder and deacon, served as treasurer and chairman of the Board of Deacons, and served on the Program and Planning Committee. She served as secretary and vice president of PTA, president of Mothers' Club and served on a host of other school related activities. Helen served on the Jackson Municipal Hospital Auxiliary Board, as a 4-H leader and in American Cancer Society events. Her patriotism was evident in her memberships in the American Legion Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary.
Helen served the community steadfastly through the family bank for more than 70 years. She was a stockholder and director for 55 years, and served as president for 22 years, through her last day on earth. It was a highlight for her to celebrate the bank's 100th anniversary in 2011.
Helen loved music and it brought her joy to share her God-given talent with others. She was a piano and voice teacher for many years. She was a contralto soloist, having sung at hundreds of events. She performed on and produced many programs and enjoyed leading community singing. She especially enjoyed it when her family sang with her.
Helen developed a love for horses as a young girl. She loved to ride, bareback and full-speed. Helen treasured her family most of all, and her family treasures her beyond measure. She loved cooking big meals for family celebrations. Her family adored her giggle. Helen had an embracing personality, full of love and affection. She was gracious, kind and thoughtful. She was brilliant and strong, sensitive and gentle. Helen lived love. She taught love. She is love. Helen left a legacy of love.
Helen is survived by her loving family, children, Vandela (David) Hicks-Scherer of Rochester, Paul (Tamara) Meium of Jackson, Angela Fairbrother of Eden Prairie and Evangelane (Douglas) Meium-Bratrud of Jackson; grandchildren, Sean (Kelly) Hicks, Michelle (Ross) Capelle, Katy Scherer, Hannah Meium, Claudia Meium, Evan Fairbrother, Elijah Meium-Bratrud, Helena Meium-Bratrud, Isaiah Meium-Bratrud and Matthew Bratrud; great-grandchildren, Jacob Hicks and Molly Hicks; and cousins, nieces and nephews.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Harlow, her parents, Frank and Vandela Striemer, siblings, Dona Striemer, Elaine Striemer, Galen Striemer and Joyce (Bracken) Striemer, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral service for Helen will be held Saturday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, with Pastor Christopher Drew officiating. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery - Jackson.
Visitation will be today, July 11, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Osterberg Funeral Home, 510 Fifth St., in Jackson, and on Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Online condolences can be sent to the family at osterbergfuneralhome.com.
Blessed be her beautiful, loving memory.
Osterberg Funeral Home
510 5Th St
Jackson, MN 56143
Published in The Post-Bulletin on July 11, 2014