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Helen Gilbertson

Helen Gilbertson

Born In: Fordville, North Dakota, United States
Born: March 1st, 1924

Passed in: Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada
Passed on: January 25th, 2016

MARCH 1, 1924 – JANUARY 25, 2016
It is with saddened hearts we announce the passing of Helen Inez Gilbertson, on Monday, January 25, 2016 in the Dawson Creek Hospital after a ten-month stay, with family at her side.
Helen was born in Fordville, North Dakota on March 1, 1924. She was the second youngest of ten children born to pioneers, Carl and Amelia Dahlen.  She immigrated to the Peace River Country with her parents in 1928 and was raised in North Rolla on the Dahlen family homestead.  Helen and her siblings attended the one-room school.  Helen completed her education, including Gr. XIII, and went on to Normal School teacher training in Victoria. She taught elementary school from 1943 to 1947 at Sunset Prairie, Peaverly and Dawson Creek.
Helen married Russell Gilbertson, the love of her life, originally of Delisle, Saskatchewan in 1947. Russ owned and operated Russ’ Auto Body Shop until his retirement in 1986.  They spent many enjoyable ‘Snowbird’ winters in Arizona, enjoying golf, bicycling, dancing, and warm weather with many Dawson Creek friends and Dahlen relatives.
After raising four children, Helen returned to substitute teaching at Central School.  An avid reader and life-long learner, substituting for the school librarian was a perfect fit for Helen, surrounded by books.  She later worked at the Dawson Creek Public Library until her retirement, a job she truly loved.
Helen developed an interest in genealogy and spent many years prior to the invention of the Internet, writing letters to obtain census records and historical family information. She laboriously completed family tree records for both the Dahlen/Hamre and Gilbertson families, tracing their bloodlines to the Haddeland and Valdres valleys in Norway.
Helen and Russ, both the second youngest of ten, and of Norwegian descent, enjoyed a wonderful trip to Norway in 1992, meeting relatives in Trondheim and Oslo.  Helen and Russ also revisited Amsterdam and sites in Holland where Russ was part of the European Liberation at the end of World War II.  They also enjoyed trips to The Maritimes, the New England States and Hawaii; as well as countless trips to visit children and grandchildren.
Helen and her sisters, growing up during the Great Depression, learned sewing and frugality from Mother, Amelia.  Helen sewed countless quilts for family, as well as quilts for married grandchildren, completing three in the past four years.  Her goal as Grandma was to ensure all eleven grandchildren learned to make Norwegian lefse. This goal was attained.
Helen and her family were founding members, and Helen was the oldest member of Grace Lutheran Church in Dawson Creek.  Last year she hemmed eighty baby diapers to include in the baby bundles sent to refugee camps through Lutheran World Relief.  Helen was responsible for this project for many years. In recent years, Helen enjoyed her new home, moving to Chapel Hills in 2011.
Helen was predeceased by her first born son, baby Karyl Gilbertson in 1948, age four months; and husband, Russell, in 2006.
Lovingly remembered by her four children: Julie (Alan), Dale (Carey), Gary, Kevin (Cathy); eleven grandchildren (David (Jenn), Eric (Marisa), Neal (Emilie), Allison (Mike), Jenn, Kristen (Philip), Karyl (Jenna), Carlie (Brian), Jaclyn and Timothy; great-grandchildren Owen, Rebecca, Madelyn, Adrien, Charlotte, Alice, Graham and Andrew; one sister Carolyn Torgrimson, Dawson Creek; one brother-in-law Henry Gilbertson, and one sister-in-law Dorothy Gilbertson of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The family wishes to thank the nursing staff of the Dawson Creek Hospital and Dr. Broussow for their kindness and care, and acknowledge the many friends and family that visited and brightened her days.
Helen will be remembered for her optimistic spirit and wry sense of humour, her curiosity for life, her insight into the human condition and her unconditional love and pride of family. She will not be forgotten.
A Memorial Service is planned for 2:00pm Saturday, February 13, 2016 at Grace Lutheran Church, Pastor Marlys Moen officiating.
Donations in Helen’s memory are gratefully accepted to Grace Lutheran Church, Lutheran World Relief, The Salvation Army, The Nawican Friendship Center, or a charity of your choice.
For additional information, please visit www.bergeronfunerals.com
Arrangements were entrusted to Bergeron Funeral Services & Crematorium Ltd.




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