Delores "Helen" (Nelsen) Brese(1927-2013)

Delores 'Helen' Brese passed away in the early morning of July 12, 2013. Delores 'Helen' was born on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1927 to Uffe and Dot (Hughes) Nelsen in Scobey, MT. Being born during the great depression she grew up with many hardships including her mother's five year fight with breast cancer. She and her sister, Joyce, would visit their mother at the Scobey hospital at lunch and after school. She passed when Helen was nine years old. Helen graduated from high school and jumped on the train to Indiana where she spent precious time with her grandmother and other members of the Hughes family. Her time in Indiana was to become some of the greatest memories of her life.
In 1950 Helen married Eugene (Whitey) Marchwich and they had two sons, Gene and Rick. In 1955 she married Jim Brese and they had five children; Debbie, Darlene, Terry, Jerry, and Denette. Their family moved throughout Montana and Washington as Jim worked in road construction. Helen loved the life on the road because with each stop she made new friends. In 1968 they moved back to Ellensburg and made it their permanent home. Helen had always been a homemaker but as her children got older, she began working seasonally at Twin City Foods. She then went to work at the Ellensburg Telephone Company for many years.
1974 was a very difficult year for Delores; that year, her youngest son Jerry went on Kidney Dialysis. Three weeks after, Helen lost her husband Jim in a car accident. Being the strong woman she was, she did not allow this to bring her down. Three years after, she went through another life changing year when she resigned from the telephone company and purchased the Ponderosa Motel in Ellensburg. That same year she gave the ultimate gift of love to her son Jerry, one of her own kidneys.
In 1979 Helen met Shorty Thompson and they enjoyed many years together, dancing at the Moose Lodge or the Thunderbird. They spent the winter in Arizona in 1990 which was one of the highlights of her life. Helen went back to work, working as a clerk for Circle K and then at Johnny's in Kittitas. At age 76 she began working at her daughter Debbie's daycare. She loved working there and quickly became Grandma Helen to all of the daycare children. Due to health issues, at age 82, Helen had to give up helping at the daycare.
Delores 'Helen' was a great mother to not only her children but to anyone that ever needed it. Everyone was welcome in her home. She had two foster daughters, Sally Martinez and Gert Langevin. Anyone who needed a place to stay was always welcome. She loved to make her grandchildren feel special by making them their favorite meal or by making her one-of-a-kind magic bars. Every Christmas you could expect to receive a batch of Grandma Helen's special Chex mix, and it was the best Chex mix around. Helen loved to gamble and to play pinochle and bingo. She enjoyed playing pool at the Time Out in Kittitas; she was quite the pool shark.
Delores is survived by her brother Bob Nelsen, Brother-in-law Dick Moothart, sisters May Jane Nelsen, Lois (Paul) Lange, Jeanne Nelsen and numerous nieces and nephews. Children: Gene (Shirley) Marchwick, Rick (Kay) Marchwick, Debbie (Nick) Nason, Darlene (Billy) Bird, Terry (Sandy) Brese, daughter-in-law Christy Brese, Dennette (Ralph) Woodiwiss, as well as 16 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren with the 20th on the way.
She is preceded in death by her mother, father, step-mother Getta Nelsen, brother Allen, sisters: Phylis, Joyce and Laverna, husband Jim, son Jerry and granddaughter Chelsey.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in her honor to the Northwest Kidney Center ( There will be a celebration of life on Friday, July 19, 2013 from 2-8pm at the Time Out Tavern in Kittitas.
Arrangements by Brookside Funeral Home & Crematory

Funeral Home

Brookside Funeral Home and Crematory
101 East 2nd Avenue Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 925-2902

Published in Daily Record from July 17 to July 24, 2013