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Helen E. Schmidt

June 6, 1919 March 9, 2018
Helen E. Schmidt
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Obituary for Helen E. Schmidt

Helen E. Schmidt, age 98, longtime resident of Ledgewood Beach, Coupeville, WA, passed away March 9, 2018 in Naperville, Illinois. She was born Helen Eva Silvola on June 6, 1919 in Winton, Minnesota.

Helen’s parents immigrated to America from their native Finland only a few years before she was born. At that time, Winton was a booming logging town on the far northeastern border of Minnesota. There were many Finns in Winton and Finnish was always spoken at home. Growing up in northern Minnesota at that time was an adventure. The wilderness of lakes and woods was at their doorstep and so fish and wild game was often part of the daily menu. Helen delighted in telling stories of the many local characters from those days of lumberjacks, Indians, woodsmen and wilderness adventurers.

In 1939 she left home for a job in Chicago. That’s where in 1941, shortly before America went to war, she met and married her husband Martin A. Schmidt, the son of German immigrants from Russia. After war was declared, Martin enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served as a B-29 navigator. Helen followed Martin during all his Air Corps training before returning to Chicago where a son, Martin Robert was born. At war’s end Martin returned to Chicago. Soon thereafter, daughters Louise and Jean were born.

Over the years, her husband’s job in sales took the family to live in Michigan, Indiana, and back to Illinois. At the same time the family enjoyed many driving trips around and across the United States. In retirement, Helen and Martin traveled even more, to Europe, Asia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii. She especially enjoyed their trips to Finland because she was fluent in the language and had many relatives there.

In 1980 she and her husband moved to Whidbey Island from Chicago. At that time her husband merged his sales business with his son’s business on Whidbey Island. Together they incorporated as Interstate Label Company.

Helen loved her home, her garden, the beach, and was very close to all of her friends on Whidbey Island, WA. She was very active in the Greenbank Garden Club and the Hillside Free Evangelical Church. She will be remembered as being devoted to her family both immediate and extended, and will be deeply missed.

Helen’s beloved husband of 69 years preceded her in 2010 and they are now together again in heaven. Helen is survived by her son Martin Robert and wife Judy of Coupeville, Washington; daughter Louise Brechman, Willowbrook, Illinois; daughter Jean Duke and husband Michael, Park Hall, Maryland; four grandchildren four great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

There will be a private family inurnment in Coupeville’s Sunnyside Cemetery. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.


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