Helen Linda Magnuson
IRON RIVER — Helen Linda Magnuson, a centenarian at age 104, passed away in her sleep, on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, at the Iron River Care Center, where she gratefully received wonderful care from Dr. Han, Carmen Kataja, the staff and owners – Rob and Kelly, who cared for her every need for the past nine years.
She was born Nov. 9, 1914, in Gwinn. She was the Swedish daughter of the late John and Augusta (Dahl) Nordlander.
Helen first married Herman (Nig) Gendron and he preceded her in death. She later married Frances Magnuson, who preceded her in death in 1984. She had no biological children but loved her nieces and nephews as if they were her own becoming a second mom to many of them.
She was a devoted member of the First Lutheran Church in Iron River where she was a member of the Rachel Circle and the quilting group. She was also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Helen was definitely an early pioneer woman who was never afraid to attempt anything herself. She didn’t want help from anyone. She was often found making pasties, and wonderful apple bars. Helen was not afraid of hard work. She farmed, canned, cooked wonderful meals, entertained many in her home, mowed her own grass, and was even found shoveling the snow off her roof at age 88 – at that point, her ladder mysteriously disappeared.
She and her first husband, Nig, were avid fishermen and hunters. They often were found providing fish and venison to families who were down on their luck and having a hard time. She could easily out-fish many guys! She passed her love for fishing on to all her nephews and nieces.
Helen was always crocheting, sewing and quilting making many gifts for family, friends, and church projects. Her afghans and quilts spread love and are enjoyed by many worldwide.
One of her passions was playing cards with anyone who would gather for a game or three. Her favorites were smear, crazy smear, canasta, and 3-deck canasta, which she taught to all the nieces and nephews as soon as they could reach the table. Uno was another favorite, which was often played with her niece Maureen.
Another passion was her salt and pepper collection. She collected them from all her travels. It became the responsibility of all of us that if we traveled somewhere, there was sure to be a gift of them for our dear Aunt Helen. Needless to say, she accumulated hundreds and it may have even been a thousand. She looked upon them with great joy and many fond memories.
Traveling was enjoyment for Helen. She and her sisters – Judy and Hilda – would pack their bags at a minute’s notice ready to embark on a new adventure. The three “musketeers” traveled to Wisconsin, Detroit, Florida, California and New York. She even visited Sweden twice at age 60 to see their oldest sister, Frieda, who was 72, and they had never seen. Their grandmother thought America was an evil place and would not allow their mother to bring Freida here.
Survivors include her nephews, Pete Rule, James Rule, James Haggard; nieces, Maureen Haggard, Donna (Tom) Waligursky, Sue (Robert) Hooper, Linda (Tim) Tatosky.
Also surviving are great-nephews, Douglas Brown Jr., Jeff Haggard, Shawn Haggard, Matt Tatosky and Jory Rule; great-nieces, Nancy Brown, Gail Brown, Barbara (Babs) Herman, Debbie (Andy) Uren, Julie Hooper, Rebecca Waligursky; and many great-great-nephews and nieces, and even great-great-great-nephews and nieces.
In addition to her parents and her husbands, Helen was preceded in death by one brother, John Nordlander; six sisters, Freida Dahl, Judith Rule, Agnes (Fred) Grailer, Hilda (Clyde) Haggard, Ina (Clarence) Fredrickson and Ann (Lee) Fisher; and by nephews, Douglas Brown, Dennis Haggard, Fred Grailer, Daniel Grailer and Alan Grailer.
Services will be held in the spring at the First Lutheran Church in Iron River.
Burial will be in Resthaven Cemetery in the spring also.
You may leave a condolence or tribute for Helen’s family online at www.JacobsFuneralHomes.com.
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Plowe Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Crystal Falls, to honor Helen’s legacy of life.