Janet Kay (Strong) Helgerson, 1986

Winter 2018 (January 13, 2018)

Janet Kay (Strong) Helgerson, 55, of West Union, Iowa, passed away Oct. 27, 2017, at Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital, West Union, after a nearly four-year battle with cancer. She was born Dec. 31, 1961, to Kenneth and Beverly (Howard) Strong in Postville. She was baptized and confirmed at Illyria Community Church in rural Elgin. Janet graduated from Valley High School, Elgin in 1980. She attended the University of Northern Iowa for two years before transferring to Luther College in Decorah, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education with an emphasis in piano performance. Janet was united in marriage with Michael Helgerson on April 17, 1982, at Illyria Community Church, Elgin. Three children were born to this union, Leah, Robert and John. Janet began her career in 1986 at Valley Elementary teaching general music before taking on duties at the Valley Junior High and High School in 1989. “Mrs. H.,” as her students knew her, grew the vocal music program over the next several years to record participation numbers. Janet contributed her musical talents to many extracurricular school and community activities throughout the years and chaperoned students several times on the Iowa Ambassadors of Music trips to Europe. Janet was a member of West Clermont Lutheran Church where she was the long-time accompanist and organist. Janet was a wonderful daughter, wife, mother and grandmother and treasured the times when the house was full of family and laughter. She was extremely proud of her three children and loved watching her two grandsons grow into bright young boys. In her free time, Janet enjoyed traveling, visiting with friends and family, reading and cooking. Janet is survived by her husband of 35 years, Michael of West Union; her children, Leah (Martin) Broman of Minneapolis, Robert (Danielle) Helgerson of Lisbon and John Helgerson of Des Moines; two grandchildren, Lucas Broman and Evan Helgerson; her parents, Kenneth and Beverly Strong of Elgin; siblings, Chris (Robyn) Strong of Elgin, Carol (Leon) Griebenow of Elgin and Linda (Rick) Davis of Wadena and several nieces and nephews. Janet was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Harold and Zella Strong and maternal grandparents, Archie and Alice Howard; and parents-in-law, Thelmer and LaRue Helgerson. Visitation was Nov. 2, 2017, at West Clermont Lutheran Church, Clermont, Iowa. Funeral Services were Nov. 3, 2017, at North Fayette Valley Middle School, Elgin, Iowa with Rev. Phillip Olson as the Officiant. Schutte-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Clermont, Iowa, helped the family with the arrangements.

Janet Kay (Strong) Helgerson