Kern Funeral Home
1122 South 3rd Street
Mount Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-2153
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1932 - 2011 Obituary Condolences
Helen Katherine Bretvick, 78, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, January 16th, 2011. She was born August 3rd, 1932, in Waterbury, Connecticut to Louis and Katherine Schiller, the youngest of five children.

She attended school in Naugatuck, Connecticut, and graduated from high school there in 1950. While growing up on the east coast, she spoke fondly of trips to New York City to ice skate at Radio City, and attending the Metropolitan Opera House.

Helen met Duane "Red" Bretvick in 1954, and they were married in 1955. They settled in LaConner, where they raised five children.

Throughout her life, she had many jobs, but above all, she was a homemaker and wonderful wife and mother. One of her favorite jobs was pollinating crops at Hedlin's Greenhouse in LaConner as a self-proclaimed "bee". She also took five kids to pick strawberries at Hasting's farm one summer!

Helen loved handiwork, including knitting, crochet, needlepoint, and quilting. She knitted hats which were donated to charity. She especially enjoyed weekly gatherings with her sewing group. She gardened, bowled with "The Hopefuls" League, and loved spending time with her family and friends. Helen was also very interested in genealogy and compiled much information tracing her and Duane's family roots.

Helen was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary and Sacred Heart Church in LaConner. She was a Campfire Leader and worked with Cub Scouts as a den mother, as well as helping with her children's many other activities. She was a member of the Skagit Valley Genealogy Society.

Helen and Red enjoyed traveling, which included cruises to the Caribbean and Norway, with stops in Denmark, Copenhagen, and London. They enjoyed Hawaii and trips to the ocean, both Pacific and Atlantic. They made several trips to Connecticut to visit the rest of her family.

Among the many memories of Helen, her family best remembers Mom sang, whistled, and danced throughout the house, sometimes all at the same time! She was a friendly, energetic, giving and caring woman, with enough love not only for her own children, but everyone in the neighborhood too. She had an endearing laugh that would make you laugh when you heard it! Helen's generosity and kindness will be well remembered. She was fun!

Helen is survived by her husband Duane; sisters, Betty Harrison, Grace Nolan, and Teresa Sroka, sisters-in-law Lorraine Van Brocklin and Mary Schiller; children, Lynn (Frank) Handy, Karen Bretvick, Neil (Donna) Bretvick, David (Marrilee) Bretvick, and Scott Bretvick; grandchildren, Frank Louis Handy, Richard Handy, Michelle Hernandez, Angela Hernandez, Amanda Bretvick-Posch, Abby Bretvick, Melissa Bretvick, and Kelcy Bretvick; several nieces and nephews; and one great-grandchild, Chayton Engelson, and her most recent cat Brandy.

Helen was predeceased by her parents, one brother Louis Schiller, brothers-in-law, Robert Harrison, James Nolan, and Edwin Sroka, and one grandchild Jonathan Handy.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, 728 134th St. #101, Everett, WA 98204, the American Heart Association, Northwest Affiliate 710 2nd Ave., Suite 900, Seattle, WA 98104 or the charity of your choice.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Skagit Valley Hospital who provided excellent care for Mom during this time, and the staff at Kern Funeral Home for their gracious assistance throughout this difficult time.

Visitation will take at Kern Funeral Home on Friday Jan,. 21st and Saturday Jan. 22nd 10:00am to 8:00pm both days. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, January 24, 2011, 1:30pm at St. Charles Catholic Church, 935 Peterson Road, Burlington, WA.

You may share your memories of Helen, and sign her online guest register at www.kernfuneralhome.com.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home of Mount Vernon.
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