The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 3, 2012

Bonita Eleanor (Hallman) Helmeke


—  Bonita E. Helmeke, age 86 of Le Sueur, Minnesota, died Monday, October 1, 2012, at the Benedictine Living Community in St. Peter.

  Funeral services will be held on Friday, October 5, at 11:00 a.m. at Zion United Church of Christ in Le Sueur, MN, with Reverend Beth Benson officiating.  Burial will be at Mound Cemetery, Le Sueur.

  The Helmeke family will greet friends and relatives during visitation on Thursday from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm at the Kolden Funeral Home in Le Sueur.  Visitation will continue one hour before the funeral service at the church.

  Bonita and her twin sister, Bernice, were born August 16, 1926, in Mankato to Carl Alfred and Christine (Berg) Hallman.  She graduated from Mankato High School in 1944 and took nurses training as part of the Cadet Nurse Corps.  She then worked at the Green Giant Company in Le Sueur for five years.  She moved to Washington D.C. and worked for the U.S. Department of Labor briefly and then returned to Minnesota and worked at North American Life & Casualty in Minneapolis.

  She met Waldo J. Helmeke while working at Green Giant. They were married on October 10, 1953, and raised a family of four: John, Joel, Karen, and Judy. Bonita sang in the Zion church choir and was active as a Boy Scout den mother before the family moved to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin for eleven years, where she was involved in many volunteer activities in the community, schools, and church, such as, Girl Scouts, PTA, and the senior citizen's program at First Lutheran Church.  She was a member of Eastern Star and League of Women Voters.  Bonita and Waldo returned to Le Sueur in 1978.  She loved her three granddaughters: Amanda, Ella, and Claire.  Bonita had a very strong faith, and enjoyed reading, music, trips to Breezy Point, playing cards, and her cat.    

  Bonita is survived by her husband, Waldo; sons, John of Le Sueur and Joel of Montello, WI; daughters, Karen Helmeke & husband Gary Bischof of Portage, MI and Judy Helmeke & husband Tim Nuessmeier of St. Peter; granddaughters, Amanda & Eleanor Bischof and Claire Nuessmeier; twin sister, Bernice (Ken) Kirby of Cedar Rapids, IA; as well as several nieces and nephews.

  Bonita is preceded in death by six brothers, Paul Hallman (wife, Helen), Aaron Hallman (wife, Georgia), Maynard Hallman (wife, Jean), Woodrow Hallman (wife, Evelyn), twins Conard and Donald Hallman (wives Betty and  Dorothy); infant sister, Georgia Hallman and sister, Fern Forrey (husband, Page).  All six brothers served the U.S. during World War II.

  Memorials may be directed to Zion United Church of Christ in Le Sueur.