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Helen Birkland Nov. 24, 1924 - Dec. 10, 2017

December 13, 2017
Estherville News

A Celebration of Life service for Helen Birkland, 93, of Estherville, will be held at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, south of Gruver, with Pastor Randy James officiating. Interment will be at Valley View Cemetery, Graettinger. She died on Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, at Pearl Valley Nursing Home in Estherville.

Visitation were held from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 13 at the Henry-Olson Funeral Home in Estherville.

Helen Lorraine Birkland, the daughter of Andrew and Susie (Matheson) Handeland, was born Nov. 24, 1924 at Gruver, Iowa.

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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 Nov. 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, Ind.; 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, four 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.

Online condolences may be left for the family at



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