Helen Rose Birger, age 95, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Thursday, March 2, 2017 at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton.
Mass of Christian Burial is 10:30 AM, on Monday, March 6, 2017 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Ken Lulf officiating. Burial will be at the Lakeview Cemetery in Lake Andes, South Dakota. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM, on Sunday, March 5 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a rosary at 6:45 PM, followed by a vigil service at 7:00 PM. Visitation continues one hour prior to the funeral at the church.
Pallbearers are Jeff Birger, Derek Heimes, Keith Kleinschmit, Scott Kleinschmit, Jon Kleinschmit and Chris Pinkelman. Honorary pallbearers are all her grandchildren.
Helen was born December 12, 1921 in Spencer, Nebraska to Albert and Tonie (Maly) Tejral. She grew up on a farm west of Spencer and attended school through the 8th grade. Helen married John Birger on November 6, 1945. After their marriage, they moved to Lake Andes, South Dakota where they farmed most of their life. When they retired from farming, they moved into town and Helen worked at the Lake Andes Health Care Center for several years. After John passed away, Helen moved to back to Spencer and worked as a waitress and also cleaned houses. She was always a very hard worker and took much pride in her work. In 2005, Helen moved to Yankton and later became a resident of Avera Sister James Care Center in September 2011. Helen loved playing bingo, going to the casino, watching birds, fishing and dancing to polka music. She enjoyed the company of her many cats, but especially loved being with her family and friends.
Helen is survived by four children: Betty (Galen) Kleinschmit of St. Helena, NE, Richard Birger of Sioux Falls, SD, Melvin (Mary) Birger of Yankton; and Loretta (Rich) Hiatt of Sioux Falls; 12 grandchildren; 23 great grandchildren; and four great-great grandchildren.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John on December 24, 1981; brother, Emil Tejral and sister, Emma Gehlsen.
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Helen will be missed for sure, She was an awesome lady, I remember staying with her on our hunting trips at Spencer. She would get up before us in the morning, had to be around 3 or 4 in the morning and would have a breakfast waiting for us fit for a king She was so kind and generous Fly high Helen, Beautiful person.
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