Saturday, January 18, 2014

In Memory of Steve's Mom, Helen Burgert

Greetings to our friends and family.

We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of our beloved mother, Helen Louise Burgert. We give thanks that she passed away on Thursday evening without discomfort, seated in the supportive care facility beside Omer, her husband of 65 years. We rejoice that Helen knew her Lord Jesus Christ and after 89 years on this earth is now in His heavenly embrace. 

Steve's sister, Carolyn, and his brother, Mark, and Mark's wife, C├ęcile, are with Omer at this time. Steve and Alene will join in a family celebration of Helen's life on March 1st in Rochester, Minnesota. We have been blessed with the prayers of so many and the presence of many here in Kenya sharing their condolence expressions of "Pole" (pronounced "Poh-lay").

In 2007, Helen had chosen a special verse that she wanted shared at her memorial service.  She'd seen it engraved on a tombstone: "She did what she could."  The Lord blessed us yesterday with that specific verse being the focus for our "Upper Room" daily devotion for Friday, January 17, 2014. In Mark 14:8, those are Jesus' words describing the woman who poured the expensive perfume on Jesus' head. Throughout Helen's life she certainly "did what she could." May we all live our lives such that Jesus could also declare that we each "did what we could."

We have chosen a photo that shows both Helen and Omer. We have been blessed to have them as loving parents and we think of the two of them as one. Thanks for your prayers for our family and especially now for our father, Omer, as he adjusts to the loss of his "bride," as he always called her.

As we experience the peace and comfort of Christ at this time, we pray the same for each of you.
In His love,
Steve & Alene

Helen Louise Burgert (January 5, 1925 - January 16, 2014)


Helen Louise was born to Adolph C. and Viola C. Eifert on January 5, 1925 and grew up on a farm near Waukomis, Oklahoma. Her future husband, Omer Burgert, was the son of a pastor of a church in Enid, Oklahoma and Helen and Omer wed in Enid on September 5, 1948. 

After graduation from Waukomis High School in 1942, Helen attended Oklahoma A & M College and received her B.S. degree in 1946. She did her Dietetic Internship at the University of Michigan in 1947 and worked as a dietician at St. Luke's Hospital in Chicago, Illinois (1947-48) and later at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Helen served as the Dietetic Supervisor at Madonna Towers from 1978 to 1990.

Helen was blessed with three children: Mark Edmund (1951), Stephen Louis (1953) and Carolyn Joy (1956). Omer and Helen have lived continuously in Rochester, Minnesota since 1957. Helen was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Rochester, where she served as an Elder and Clerk of Session. She participated in the leadership of PEO, AAUW, and League of Women Voters organizations, and served as an Election Judge.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Adolph C. and Viola C. Eifert; her brother, Donald L. EIfert; and her sisters, Dorothy M. Hiddleston and Vivian Jean Heard.
Helen is survived by her husband, E. Omer Burgert, Jr; her children, Mark E. Burgert, Stephen L. Burgert, and Carolyn J. Tanksley; her grandchildren, Johann D. Burgert, Clara R. Burgert, Martin A. Burgert, Brian M. Tanksley, and Loren D. Tanksley; and her great-granddaughter, Madeleine F. Burgert.

Her special Bible verse: "She did what she could." from Mark 14:8.

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