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Obituary for Helen Birkland

Helen Lorraine Birkland, the daughter of Andrew and Susie (Matheson) Handeland, was born November 24, 1924 at Gruver, Iowa. She died on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at Pearl Valley Nursing Home in Estherville at the age of 93 years and 16 days.

Helen was baptized on March 5, 1925 by Pastor S.A. Berge at Estherville Lutheran Church. She was confirmed at Palestine Lutheran Church near Dolliver on November 20, 1938 by Pastor Peder Nordsletten. She received her education and graduated from Dolliver Consolidated High School in 1942. She studied at Estherville Junior College and worked as a nurse's aide.

Helen and Lloyd Birkland were united in marriage at Palestine Lutheran Church, then lived on a farm in Jack Creek Township the rest of their lives. Following Lloyd's passing in 2009, Helen was sustained by good memories of 64 years shared with Lloyd: living on the farm, raising their three children, enjoying music, and traveling.

Helen spent years directing church choirs at First Lutheran in Graettinger and Immanuel Lutheran south of Gruver, being church secretary, participating in community and school activities, arranging programs, performing music, reading and writing poetry, and leading a ceramic workshop for years with many people who became good friends. Her creative interests also included quilting, wood carving, and painting. Music was always an important part of life the whole family shares. Helen was a longtime member of the Jack Creek CCC Club and she treasured the friendships formed there.

Left to cherish Helen's memory are her children: Geraldine Meyer and her husband Alwayne of Anthon, Iowa; Mary Sailer and her husband Donald of Zionsville, Indiana; John Birkland and his wife Janice of Ringsted; grandchildren Craig Meyer, Michael Meyer, Teresa Linn, Kristen Coughlin; Dr. Philip (Amy) Sailer, Jonathan (Gina) Sailer, Daniel (Carrie) Sailer; Carmen (Justin) Englert, Steven Birkland, Brian (Ellen) Birkland, Aaron (Katherine) Birkland; 25 great grandchildren, 4 great-great grandchildren, her sister Alice Olson, and close friends Bill and Donna Frederick of Webb, Iowa.

She has been preceded in death by her husband Lloyd, parents, sisters Lillian Schroeder, Hazel Cuff, Edna Emerson, Agnes Steele, brothers Lester and George Handeland, and granddaughter-in-law Staci.

To send flowers to the family of Helen Birkland, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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