Helgard â€śHelgaâ€ť D. Perry, a 17-year resident of Colville, passed away on Dec. 30, 2013 in Chewelah at the age of 84. Helga was born on May 25, 1929 in Bad-Elster, Germany, the youngest of three children to Kurt and Gertrud (Ziemann) Netzel.
Her father, a school teacher, endured political persecution and left Germany to reside in Argentina. The family wanted to follow him, but in September 1933 World War II began and all travel was prohibited. Gertrud moved with her three children to the city of Leipzig to live with her grandparents. During February 1945, an air raid destroyed their home and business. Helga escaped East Germany in 1949 to board a ship in HamÂ¬burg bound for Buenos Aires. There she was reÂ¬united with her father. Helgaâ€™s mother passed away of cancer while in East Germany, followed one month later by her father in Brazil. Helgaâ€™s sister then traveled to Argentina to live with her.
In 1956, Helga married and had two boys. They resided in Buenos Aires until their relocation to Portland, OR in 1968. Helga then continued raising her two boys as a single mother. She received her GED and studied her way to U.S. Citizenship in 1973. In 1974 she married Rupert Perry, a marriage which offered her much happiness. They also enjoyed traveling and took several trips to Germany to visit family.
Rupert passed away on April 27, 1992 in Portland after an eight-year battle with Alzheimerâ€™s and Parkinsonâ€™s Disease. Helga then moved to Colville in 1996 to be near her son, Peter, and his family.
Helgaâ€™s greatest joy was watching her grandchildren perform in high school music concerts. Helga loved company and enÂ¬tertained her family and friends with her home cooked German meals. She found great joy in helping others with their needs. Thatâ€™s why she excelled in the adjustmentâ€™s â€ścomplaintâ€ť department of the White Stag garment company. She understood struggle and had a very low tolerance for procrastination, laziness and wastefulness. She was frugal and yet, following all of lifeâ€™s trials, gave of herself and what she had without a hardened heart. Helga held high expectations for herself and others and enjoyed cooking and organizing the meals at the Colville Senior Center. She will be lovingly missed as her familyâ€™s â€śOmaâ€ť.
Helga was actively involved as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Helga is survived by her two sons: Peter Griessmann and his wife, Toni, Colville; Karl Heinz, Palm Springs, CA; grandchildren, Kurt Griessmann and wife, Katherine, Spokane; Kirsten Lloyd and her husband, Jesse, Idaho Falls, ID; Klaus Griessmann and his wife, Kendra, Provo, UT; Kristoffer and Karson, Colville; Heather and Stephanie, Virginia, Alex, Anthony, Amber, Portland, OR; great grandchildren, Isis, Amare, Glenn and Lois.
A funeral service was held Jan.4 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colville. The graveside service will be held Jan. 9 at the Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, Portland.
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel & Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.