Helen I. Gilliland was born July 6, 1920, in Homer, to Louis and Christine (Feer) Vlasak (Jipp). She attended schools in Morse Bluff and David City and graduated from Blair High School in 1937. She began her working career as a telephone operator at the Blair Telephone Company in the building that is still located on Lincoln Street, working under Emory Hunt, Jr. and supervisor Muriel Morrison. Helen served her country in the Civil Air Patrol under Major Harry B. Sidles. She moved with friends in the early 1940s to Los Angeles, Calif. where she worked for the Nesbitt Soda Co. She later moved to Reno, Nev. and began her 30 plus year career with Sears Roebuck & Co., eventually moving back to Nebraska to work for Sears, first at the unair-conditioned building at the corner of 30th and Farnam, then at the new Sears store, she retired from, at the Crossroads Mall in Omaha. After "retiring" she worked part-time in the laundry at Good Shepherd Home where she said her co-workers "kept her young" and the residents were always a joy to visit with. Helen enjoyed spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren. She enjoyed baking - her cookies and brownies were enjoyed by her family, friends and her grandchildren's' friends. Her favorite pastime was "being on the go", having coffee or lunch with her friends. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church and devoted many hours to activities of her beloved Ruth Circle, especially helping with making mincemeat jams and preparations for many dinners. She was also a member of the Blair Firemen's Auxiliary for many years. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers and sister-in-law Elmer and Evans and Edith Vlasak; and close cousin, Kenneth Feer, Bakersfield Calif. at age 95. She is survived by her daughter, Lynda (Edward Hansen) Jensen-Hansen; granddaughter Julie K. Jensen and Jim Glass of Colo.; grandson Kenneth P. Jensen, Jr. and Stacy Ludwig of Spencer; cousin Edna (Feer) Newman-Klein of Washington; numerous nieces; nephews; grandnieces and grandnephews.
CELEBRATION of LIFE 1 to 3 p.m., Monday, July 15th, at First United Methodist Church, 1656 Colfax Street, Blair. In lieu of flowers, memorials suggested to Friends of the Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter, PO Box 223, Blair NE 68008, or Ruth Circle - First United Methodist Church, Blair.