Joan Helm (1963 - 2012)

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Joan M Helm

Joan M. Helm

Joan Helm, age 49, of Chili, WI Passed on to eternal life, Friday, October 19, 2012 at the House of the Dove in Marshfield, WI, after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer.

Joan Marie Breitbach was born on August 24, 1963 the daughter of George and Eleanor (Bykowski) Breitbach. She was baptized on September 22, 1963 and celebrated her first communion on April 4, 1971 at St. John's Catholic Church in South Milwaukee, WI. Joan graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1982 and then attended the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She then moved to Colorado Springs and worked at several accounting jobs. On July 11, 1987 she was united in marriage to Scott Helm at St. John's Catholic Church in South Milwaukee, WI. In 1990, they moved to Chili, WI and Joan was confirmed into the Lutheran Faith on April 15, 1990. Joan served as the bookkeeper for the Granton Area School District from 1990 to 1999 and from 1999 to 2003 she worked as the Financial Service Representative for several insurance companies. In 2003, Joan began her job as the Executive Director for the Clark County Housing Authority. It was a job that fit her well, because it was in her heart to help people and this job gave her the ability to help people through hard times.

Joan was a member of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Granton and served on the Church Board, Head of the Scholarship Committee and also as their financial secretary for many years. She was also a member of the Chili area Jaycees. Her hobbies included tending to her flower and hosta gardens. Joan enjoyed making items for her family by weaving on a loom. She was a great cookie maker and loved baking cookies for her family and she excelled at and loved photography. She loved spending time with her dogs Boomer and Jack.

She is survived by her husband, Scott, a son, Derek of Chili, WI and siblings, George (Ruth) Breitbach of South Milwaukee, WI, Barbara (James) Emmerich of Appleton, WI, Susan Mackevich of Millbrae, CA, Mary (Richard) Fortier of South Milwaukee, WI, John Breitbach of Fond du Lac, WI, Joel (Julie) Breitbach of Oak Creek, WI and Julie, Joan's twin, (Jeffrey) Lemens of Franksville, WI. Joan is also survived by many beloved nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Beverly Helm of Chili, WI.

She was preceded in death by a daughter, Jessica Helm, her parents, a brother, Patrick Breitbach, a brother-in-law, Jeffry Mackevich and her father-in-law, Walter Helm.

Funeral Services for Joan will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Granton, WI. Pastor Daniel Schoessow will officiate. Music will be provided by Caroline Helm, organist. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Wednesday at the Gesche Funeral Home and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., Thursday at the Church.

Casket Bearers are: Chad Breitbach, Kurt Emmerich, Bryan Fortier, Patrick Breitbach, Nathan Schwanz, Bradley Schwanz, Ryan Schwanz and Zachary Schwanz.

In lieu of flowers, Joan has requested donations to Derek's education fund or to the Building and Maintenance Fund of Zion Evangelical Luthern Church, Granton, WI

The family wishes to thank the Ministry Hospice Service and the House of the Dove, Marshfield, WI for their care, kindness and compassion shown through Joan's journey.

Online Condolences may be made at

The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Joan's family with Funeral arrangements.

Published in the Marshfield News Herald on Oct. 23, 2012