Helen (Schmidt) Hatzenbuhler peacefully left her earthly home on July 25, 2022, at Edgewood in Mandan. A celebration of life for Helen will take place on Thursday, July 28, 2022, at St Joseph Catholic Church at 10:30 AM. She will be buried with her husband at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will take place on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, from 5:00-6:00 PM at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with a Rosary/Parish Vigil at 6:00PM.
Helen was born to John and Elizabeth Schmidt on June 28, 1927, in Odense, North Dakota, the ninth of fifteen children. She and her siblings were raised on her family’s farm in the Odense area. She attended country school through the sixth grade, as it was then expected she be home helping with the farm and younger siblings.
Helen met her lifelong love, Anton (Tony), when he was discharged from the Army at a dance on February 3, 1946. Both enjoyed reminiscing about this first date and liked to tease each other about who was more smitten with the other. They were married on October 7, 1947, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Odense. They farmed in the Solen area with their six children until 1974, when they moved into Mandan. Helen worked for the Mandan Public Schools from 1975 until her retirement in 1995. Tony and Helen lived in their home in Mandan for 46 years and together moved to Edgewood in 2020. Helen had been cared for through the memory care unit at Edgewood and most recently Hospice.
Helen and Tony were honored as the longest married Catholic Couple in North Dakota in 2021, after celebrating their 74th wedding anniversary. “I’ve always loved him,” Helen said of Tony when interviewed for this honor. Tony and Helen were active members of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mandan for over 48 years. She embraced her Catholic faith and practiced charity and compassion and believed firmly in praying her daily rosary and attending mass.
Helen will forever be remembered for her strong family values, commitment to her faith, and sweet demeanor. She was a fierce pinochle player, enjoyed trips to the casino, fishing, and had an amazing talent for embroidery. Helen was also a master in the kitchen and embraced her German heritage by making all things with dough and with her love for wedding and anniversary parties so she could dance waltzes and polkas.
Helen will be greatly missed and is lovingly survived by her six children, Leonard, Dorothy (Dave Stegmiller), Arnold (Donna), Janice (Danny Grigsby), Tony (Kim), and Debby (Ryan Wisdom); 14 grandchildren, Jennifer (Jose), Dean (Dana), Brent (Melissa Lizakowski), Laura (Chris), Dewey (Crystal), Paula (Troy Kinn), Danelle (Matthew), Steven (Winnie), Chelsea (Forest Anderson), Chris (Daniela Orcutt), Cameron (Stephanie), Tyrel (Ashleigh), Jason (Monique), and Trevor (Danielle); 29 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandson; three sisters-in-law; and one brother-in-law.
She was welcomed into heaven by her lifelong love, Tony, who died this past April. She was also preceded in death by her parents; fourteen siblings; daughter-in-law, Karen Lundstrom; and grandchildren, Jeremiah and Tara Hatzenbuhler.
In lieu of flowers her family requests that memorials be made in Helen’s name to the North Dakota Alzheimer’s Association. A special thank you as well to Caring Edge Hospice and the staff at Edgewood, Mandan.