July 23, 1922 - Feb. 27, 2013
WAKARUSA — Helen L. Klein, 90, of Wakarusa, passed away at 9:28 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at Miller’s Merry Manor, Wakarusa.
She was born July 23, 1922, to Charles “Victor” and Inez (Metzler) Eby in Elkhart County. She married Jay M. Klein on Feb. 14, 1941, in Elkhart. He died April 1, 2004.
Helen is survived by son Jay Eugene (Barb) Klein of Osceola; daughters Sue (Pete) Clark of South Bend and Linda (Craig) Spicher of Wakarusa; brother Kenneth (Shirley) Eby; grandchildren Bob (Shelly) Klein, Kelly (Trish) Klein, Pam (Jim) Spier, Wendy (Joe) Maschler, Zach (Kate) Clark, Jason (Kate) Clark, Dusty (Jenny) Spicher and Christopher (Serenity) Spicher; and 12 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Eby.
Helen worked at Barger Box in Elkhart and farmed and milked 100 head of registered Holsteins. She also worked at Wolfberg’s Dime Store, where she started the original jelly beans for the Maple Syrup Festival and was crowned the Jelly Bean Queen by Brock Candy Co. She served as grand marshal and maple syrup co-chairman for the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival. She was one of the original founders and president of Wakarusa Historical Society, served on the board of directors for Elkhart County and Bristol museums, and helped three other museums’ founders. Helen was instrumental in the first hog roast at Bonneyville Mill.
She helped with the start of Meals on Wheels in Wakarusa. She was director of Elkhart County 4-H Fair board and starting director of the Elkhart County 4-H Senior Queen event, and was 1988 senior queen and senior queen of district 2.
She worked on the Elkhart County tourism committee. She was instrumental in Miller’s Merry Manor coming to Wakarusa. Helen was an Arbor member with Gleaner Insurance Arbors and was named Gleaner Fraternalism of the Year. She served as secretary for the Wakarusa Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the Sagamore of the Wabash, presented by Governor Orr of Indiana.
Jay and Helen went on Internation Lions Club Missions (with medical teams-eye glasses) to Guatemala and other places in Mexico. These are amongst many other things Helen has been involved with too numerous to list.
Helen was a member of Zion United Church of Christ in Wakarusa.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 3, 2013, at Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, 117 W. Waterford St., Wakarusa, and one hour prior to the funeral service at 10 a.m. Monday, March 4, 2013, at Zion United Church of Christ, Wakarusa. Pastor Dale Speckman will officiate. Burial is in Olive (West) Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Wakarusa Historical Society.
Online condolences may be sent at www.rrefh.com.