Cover photo for Helena Juliette Jocelyn Gunderson's Obituary
Helena Juliette Jocelyn Gunderson Profile Photo

Helena Juliette Jocelyn Gunderson

August 26, 1918 — July 21, 2010

Helena Juliette Jocelyn Lane Gundersen, 91, of North Powder, died July 12 at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center in Baker City. A graveside memorial and burial of ashes will be held in the spring of 2011 at North Powder Cemetery.

Helena was born Aug. 26, 1918, in Bloomer, Wis. She was the first-born great-granddaughter of the Lanes and Rathbuns of Wisconsin. She attended a one-room country school through the eighth grade and then graduated from high school in Bloomer. After several years of working there, she moved to Hinsdale, Ill. She always came home to Bloomer in November to hunt with her grandpa and uncles.

On Sept. 25, 1943, she married Rudolph "Pete" A. Gundersen of Ladysmith, Wis. She met him in 1940. Pete was in the Air Force and stationed in Kissimmee, Fla., where they lived until the war was over. Afterward, they lived in Ladysmith, where Helena worked at Fellands Store. She sang in the church choir and was involved in many community activities including serving as a Girl Scout leader.

Her daughter, Gwen, was born in 1955.

Pete was in construction and was transferred to Pierre, S.D. For the next 20 years, they lived in six western states. The Gundersens retired in North Powder in 1977. They lived in the big red two-story house on Third Street. Helena had a huge garden every year. She loved picking huckleberries and mushrooms and getting wood with her husband. Her real passion, however, was hunting. She bagged many deer, elk, antelope, one bear and game birds.

Those who knew Helena say she was a wonderful cook, sharing recipes and food items with her church, the grange and her many friends.

She was proud to be a 25-year member of the GAR. Helena was chosen to represent North Powder as its first queen in the Huckleberry Festival.

Helena along with her friend, Ida Brockway-Buck, started the Friday senior meal program at Wolf Creek Grange in North Powder, where she also helped served meals for many years. She also worked as a Geri Aid for 10 years

She loved to play her piano, and travel was a large part of her life in later years. She traveled all over the U.S. including Hawaii and Alaska. She also visited Canada and took a cruise through the Panama Canal.

She was baptized in and was a member of the United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Gwen, of Baker City; a niece; a sister-in-law, Florence Ninke of Port Angeles, Wash., and many cousins.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Rudolph "Pete" Gundersen; her grandparents; her mother; two sisters; and other family members.


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