1918 ~ 2012
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Helen Marie Sweers Stahlke, 94, died peacefully December 6, 2012. Helen was born May 6, 1918, in Chicago, the only child of Dutch immigrants John Leo Sweers and Martiena Zuydwegt Sweers. She attended Northwestern University and developed an early interest in aviation, earning her pilot's license, participating in the Ninety-Nines and the Chicago Girls Flying Club, and becoming a stewardess and reservation agent for American Airlines. Helen married George Arthur Stahlke on June 8, 1940, in New York City and they were the parents of three children. They moved to Seattle in 1943 and to Salt Lake City in 1957. Helen loved music and served as president of the Utah Symphony Guild. She was involved with the Utah Opera, enjoyed volunteering at the Veteran's Hospital and loved to travel.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband George. She is survived by her two sons, Karl Stahlke (Loula) and Eric Stahlke (Laurel); by her daughter Martiena Stahlke Lewis (James); and by her grandchildren Daniel Stahlke (Sarah), Russell Stahlke, Mikhail Stahlke, Jennifer Lewis and Erika Lewis.
As she wished, she was cremated and there will be no funeral service.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Robert Powel, Good Shepherd Hospice and The Wentworth at Draper for their expertise and extraordinary kindness.
"Pray that your journey be long; that there may be many summer mornings when with what joy, what delight, you will enter harbours you have not seen before..." from Cavafy's "Ithaca" Helen's favorite poem.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Dec. 9, 2012