Transportation 21

Helen Amanda (Kunze) Grimmius

July 16, 1922 ~ September 18, 2020 (age 98)


Helen Amanda (Kunze) Grimmius, 98, passed away in her sleep in the early morning of September 18, 2020 in Eden Prairie, Mn of natural causes.  She had moved to the Twin Cities when she was 90 to be closer to family.

Helen was a member of St Matthew's Lutheran Church since early 1940's.  She was a member of LWML and the Mary Circle.  She taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and Wednesday Church School.  She spent countless hours in the church basement kitchen for weddings, anniversaries and funerals.

Helen attended Sioux Valley country schools and graduated with 8 others in 1941.  She always said that they graduated as one because they all shared the homework assignments.  Helen never read a book because "some of the boys were in charge of that" including the book reports.  Helen was in charge of the math homework and made sure everyone got good grades.  These 9 graduates stayed lifelong friends.  Helen was the last one.

One day when she was working with her dad in the barn, a young man delivered a load of gravel to the lane.  After work he went home, got cleaned up, borrowed a car and returned to the Kunze family farm.  Cort asked Helen's dad for permission to take her for a walk. They walked up and down that lane many times.  Cort would later write to Helen from "somewhere in France" 1944, "a lot of boys died last night, Helen.  But we will be together again.  We'll walk down that lane together.  Don't you worry"

Cort and Helen talked about getting married but then Cort got drafted and sent to Fort Bragg, NC.  When Cort's status changed to "the duration", Helen decided to join him in NC.  She wrote him that she was coming so that they could get married.  Helen spoke with her dad and brother Louie, who pooled all the money they could spare ($35).  She took her $35 and a sack of sandwiches and got on a train.  The sandwiches lasted 2.5 days and she arrived on a Saturday.  The letter to Cort was lying on his bunk unopened because they had been on manuvers for two weeks. However, Cort got the rest of the weekend off, the chaplain to marry them at Fort Bragg, October 10, 1942 with two of Cort's best buddies as witnesses.  While stateside, Cort was also stationed at Lawton, OK, where Helen was a soda jerk at the drug store.  Helen also cared for the landlord's invalid wife for free rent.  When Cort was sent oversesas, Helen 'worked out'.  This means that she lived with a farm family and was the housekeeper, nanny and cook in exchange for room and board and a small salary.

Their first home in Worthington was at the Vet Housing and then on First Avenue.  Helen was mostly a homemaker with occasionally venturing into paid employment such as an election night poll taker for KSTP or a census survey taker as well as volunteering with Meals on Wheels, putting flags on Veteran's graves and marching in the VFW Auxillary color guard into her 80's.

After moving to Assisted Living in Cottage Grove, Helen was a mentor to newcomers.  She always said to look forward and never look back or you will be miserable.  Helen read the paper everyday and was great at dinner conversation.  She thought women should talk about more than food and weather.  After falling at age 97, Helen needed more assistance and moved to Castle Ridge in Eden Prairie.  She continued to get the newsparer smuggled into her room after Covid restricted her access.  She never missed a hymn sing or a party.  She was a good mom and even better grandma.  We will miss her lemon meringue pie with golden brown peaks, potato salad, and bar-b-ques with sourcream/onion chips smashed on top. (recipes in her head)

Now Cort and Helen can stroll all over Heaven any time they want.

Helen is preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Cort(1998) and her son, David(2015), her parents, Will and Grace (Manning) Kunze, 5 sisters, Dora Buchman, Mary Kunze, Lilly Kasch, Alice Wilken, and Leatha Kunze.  5 Brothers, Louie, John, Wilbert and twin infant boys (1924).  Many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and close friends.

Helen is survived by son, Gary (Orleen) St Cloud and daughter Eileen (Klaas) Snater, Woodbury, daughter-in law, Doreen (David) St Peter, one sister, Lorraine (Art) Schaap, Worthington.  6 grandchildren, Kelly, Gina, Summer, Asha, Tanner and Will.  9 greatgrandchildren, Jacob N, Jessica, Molly, Eli, Abby, Miles, Weston, Jonathan and Jacob G.  1 great great grandchild, Connor.  3 sisters-in-law, Bernadine (Wilbert) Kunze, Elaine (John) Kunze, and Yvonne (Henry) Grimmius.

   A private family service will take place at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Worthington. A public service will take place at a later date at the Dingmann Funeral Home in Worthington.

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