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Pittsburgh Methodist Church
Life Story / Obituary
Cheerful and kindhearted, Helena Burk loved dancing, fishing and traveling. Most of all, however, she loved her family, and Helena’s life revolved around caring for those she loved. Helena’s devotion, loyalty, and selflessness will live on in the hearts and memories of all those whose lives she touched; she was deeply loved, and will be deeply missed.
The 1910s were the decade in which America came of age: industrialization led to nationwide prosperity, American culture achieved global popularity, and American soldiers fought in World War II. Helena was born in the middle of this landmark decade, on August 2, 1916, and shared her birth year with the invention of the light switch, the introduction of the 40-hour workweek, and the election of the first woman to the House of Representatives.
Helena’s proud parents, William and Lora (Morgan) Bobier, brought the newest member of their family home to the family farm. The fourth of nine children, Helena grew up with siblings Chauncey, Luella, Mable, Kenneth, Keith, Eunice, Jack, and Herb. She attended school in St. Johns, Michigan, through the seventh grade, at which point she started staying home to help take care of her younger brothers and sisters. Growing up during the years of the Great Depression, Helena learned the values of hard work and frugality at a young age.
Helena married her first husband, R.G. Burk, on April 3, 1931, when she was only fourteen years old. Tragically, R.G. passed away only four years later, on April 16, 1935, after an attack of appendicitis.
In the difficult years following the death of her husband, Helena was blessed to have the support of both her own family and her in-laws. She grew especially close to her brother-in-law, Harold Burk, and as the years went by their friendship deepened into love. Helena and Harold were married on July 2, 1938, embarking on a loving and committed relationship that would endure for six decades.
Helena and Harold settled down in St. Johns, were they would raise their daughters, Patricia and Lois. Helena was a doting mother, and worked hard to make a warm and welcoming home for her family. In addition to being a homemaker, Helena also worked at the Clinton county probate court for twenty-seven years. She was a member of the St. Johns Radiant Chapter Eastern Star #79, and at one time served as the club Matron.
In their free time, Helena and Harold were inseparable. They both loved being outdoors, and spent many happy hours hunting and fishing together. They were also enthusiastic travelers, and travel destinations over the years included Germany, Hawaii, and Mexico.
After retirement, Helena and Harold moved into a home they had built on Lincoln Lake, just outside of Greenville, Michigan. In 1979, however, Harold had a stroke, and they subsequently moved to Lakeland, Florida. Sadly, Helena’s beloved companion Harold passed away in 1998, leaving Helena alone after sixty years of marriage.
In recent years, Helena has divided her time between Florida and Michigan, going south in the winter and spending summers in Michigan. She needed more assistance after a hip replacement surgery left her unable to walk, and so her daughter, Lois, cared for her for the rest of her life.
Friendly, hard working, and kindhearted, Helena was a devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members.
Mrs. Helena M. Burk died on November 29, 2013, at the age of 97. Helena’s family includes her daughter, Lois Perry of Ovid; her grandchildren, David (Marcia) Burk of Frankenmuth, Suzanne (Mark) Shenkel of Bryant, Ohio, and Tammy (Mike Rowley) Perry of Ovid; her great grandchildren, Benjamin (Jennifer) Schueller, Joshua (Charity) Shenkel, Holly Schueller, Heather (Brad) Torrey, Derek Burk, and Chelsea Burk; her great great grandchildren; and her brothers-in-law, Rex Reynolds and Merlin (Betty) Burk. Helena was preceded in death by her first husband, R.G. Burk; her second husband, Harold Burk; her parents; her daughter, Patricia Burk; her grandson, John Perry; her siblings, Chauncey Bobier, Luella McKee, Mable Langenfeld, Kenneth Wilson, Keith Wilson, Eunice Reynolds, Jack Wilson, and Herb Wilson; and her sons-in-law, Robert Burk and Lawrence Perry.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3, at the Osgood Funeral Home, 104 E. Cass Street, St. Johns, MI, 48879. Burial will be at Eureka Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. on Monday, December 2, and from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3. Memorials may be made to Heartland Hospice, 1321 S. Linden Road, Suite B, Flint, MI 48532; Pittsburgh Methodist Church; or First Baptist Church of Ovid, 301 S. Main Street, Ovid, MI 48866.
To learn more about Helena and view her Life Story film, please visit her personal webpage at www.lifestorynet.com/memories/95737. The family is being served by Osgood Funeral Homes.