A Sonoma native, died January 31, 2010 at 91. Her parents were from Germany. Helene graduated from Tule Vista Grammar School and Sonoma Valley High School. Helene enjoyed an incredible life she embraced with a sense of adventure. Her mind was always in motion and her feet followed. When Helene turned the corner entering her eighties she had no desire to slow down. Family and friends are so thankful for her inspiration and enthusiasm in a life well lived. She met the love of her life, Louie Minelli, while dancing at the Boyes Springs Bath House. They married and had three children. Later on, they opened their home and hearts to children who needed a home. Several children became lifelong members of the Minelli family. Helene was a dedicated volunteer with boundless energy and spirit. She helped start the St. Francis Solano Mother's Club, assisted in fundraisers for The Catholic Social Services also a hardworking member of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, and State Art Chairman. She participated in forming The Sonoma Valley Art Center and Gallery providing a valuable asset for artists. Helene founded the North Coast Viticulture Art Exhibit and Sales with Richard Kundi. To learn more about Helene's art career view her website www.heleneminelliart.com Helene is survived by her daughter, Carol DiGiulio (George) of Sonoma; sons, Michael Minelli (Lily) of Sonoma, Art Weyers (Sherry) of Sebastopol; grandchildren, David DiGiulio (Lisa) of Reno, Dino DiGiulio (Trina) of Sonoma, Christian Weyers of San Francisco, Scott Weyers of Santa Rosa, Jenna Weyers of Sebastopol, Anthony and April Minelli of San Jose, Michelle Minelli of Sonoma; great-grandchildren, Jordan and Danielle DiGiulio and Kasey Malchow of Reno, Chance and Corey DiGiulio of Sonoma; daughter in spirit, Beverly Silva Lawless (Hal deceased) of Grants Pass, Beverly's four daughters Lisa, Lori, Leann, Linda and their children. Helene was preceded in death by her husband Louie, their son, Ernie, her parents, brothers, sisters, numerous nephews, and a niece. A Memorial Service celebrating the life of Helene will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, February 6th at Duggan's Mission Chapel, 525 W Napa St., Sonoma, 996-3655.
Published by Press Democrat from Feb. 3 to Feb. 6, 2010.