Helene K. LaPorte, age 92, of Ford River, passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at Christian Park Village in Escanaba.
She was born in 1916 to Merville and Anna Kesler, and grew up in difficult times with two sisters, Marjorie Olson of Escanaba and Mary Lou McDonald of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and three brothers, deceased; James Kesler, John Kesler and Patrick Kesler. She was married to Paul R. LaPorte until his death in 1986. During their marriage they owned and operated the Granada Bar for many years. Helene was a member of several community organizations, including Lady Elks, Escanaba Country Club and was a life long member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, serving on the alter guild for over 40 years. She supported the Bonifas Arts Center and did volunteer work at the library.
She was an avid and winning bridge player, and in her earlier years played golf and had wonderful times with her ladies bowling team. Swimming was another passion, both in Lake Michigan, and in the YMCA water aerobics classes she attended until age 90.
Her loving and dedicated family include her daughters, Kathleen (Dan) Creten, and Suzanne (Lynn) Voeks, who will always remember their June getaways, covering all the places Helene wanted to experience in her lifetime; the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, Mount Rushmore, Caribbean Cruises and visits to California to visit her brothers.
Helene’s son, Paul Conrad LaPorte, preceded her in death. Helene was loving grandmother to Greg (Diane) LaPorte, Yvonne (Brian) Pike, Matt Walechka, Mark LaPorte, Sara (Robert) Dunstone, Amy (Michael) Creten Tucker, Jennifer Voeks, Christian (Christina) Voeks, and Carrie (Aaron) Sabel. She was the best “GG” to Amber Walechka, Chris Walechka, Nick Walechka, Marissa LaPorte, Lincoln and Margeaux Dunstone, Harrison and Jordan Tucker, Hannah and Ellie Sabel and Sam Voeks. Helene’s many friends will remember her welcoming smile, her hospitality, and her “wide shoulders”. She will be deeply missed.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 10, at 4:00pm at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Escanaba.
Memorials may be directed to the YMCA Strong Kids Fund, the Bonifas Arts Center, or the Friends of the Escanaba Library.
The LaPorte family is being assisted by theSkradski Funeral Home in Escanaba.
I am sorry I was unable to attend the services for Helene. She was a wonderful light. A study in humor and grace, always thought she was a class act. I am sorry for you loss. In your hearts you will carry her love forever.
To Helene’s family:
Kathy and Suzy, its Jeanne Ferguson here. So sorry to hear about the death of your dear mom. She always had a smile for everyone and always treated me so kind. She will be deeply missed by us all. May God give you strength in your timf of sorrow. I am sure you remember me, Fergie . God bless again
Jeanne Ferguson Gilbert
Kathy and family, Mary an I want to extent our sympathy.
Don & mary Hengesh
Dear Kathy, I was so sorry to read of your mom’s passing. I smiled as I read of all your travels together. I know how much fun you all must have had. I can’t make the funeral as we have plans with my mom, but I’ll be thinking of you. Please extend my sincere sympathy to Dan and your extended family. I always hope to see you. Love, Paula
To the LaPorte Family;
I worked for Helene over 20 years ago. She was a very influential person in my life and made quite an impression, one which has stayed with me to this day. I enjoyed working for her.. I know she will be greatly missed.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless
Marjorie, I’m sorry to hear of your loss. When working at Northwoods assisted living I loved to visit with you 2 when you would come in. You always had some good stories. I just can’t believe its been over a year. Take Care and God bless
To Helene’s family, What a blessing it has been to know this lovely lady for so many years…going way back to my childhood. My mother, now deceased, loved Helene dearly and a smile comes to my heart as I think of Helen and Helene together again. It was pure joy to be a part of her life in these past couple of years, as she was getting ready for another adventure. She WILL be missed on this earth…her humor, her love of all people, her gentleness. Helene’s love for her family overflowed out of her heart.
Our sympathy to you, Kathy and Suzanne, and your families. She will be missed.