Helena Anna Louise Wellner spent her life faithfully serving her family, her friends and her Lord. She was born Sept. 13, 1919, to Herman and Anna Wellner on a farm near Ute, Iowa. She died Tuesday, July 11, 2017, at the age of ninty-seven.
She was baptized Sept. 28, 1919, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ute by Rev. R. Amstein. She attended Lutheran elementary school in Ute and later in Charter Oak when her family moved to a farm about three miles from town. She was confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak. She remembers walking to school with her two younger sisters and carrying the youngest, Marie, on her back. She worked as a hired girl in homes in the Charter Oak area, then for a family in Ft. Collins, Colorado, for one year. She returned to Charter Oak and worked for Dr. Edward and Dr. Dora Zaeski.
She and Hubert “Buster” Berens were married on Feb. 16, 1941, at St. John Lutheran Church in Charter Oak by Pastor W. Schroeder, and they farmed several places near Charter Oak. They moved into town in 1979. Helen was devoted to her church and its school. She was active in Ladies Aid and served on its Altar Guild and Eventide Committee and also was an active member of the school’s Parent Teacher League.
She loved to be outside and planted lots of flowers and a big vegetable garden each year until she was in her mid 90s. She canned and froze the garden produce and made several kinds of pickles. She also was known for her cooking and baking, especially her caramel rolls, bread rolls and angel food cakes. She will be remembered by family and friends for her kindness and generosity, her eagerness to help anyone who needed her and her sweet nature. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Hubert, in 2002; four brothers and five sisters. Survivors include: one sister, Emma; sons and wives, Dennis and Charlyne, David and Diane, and Dean and Rebecca; six grandchildren, Rebecca and her husband, Bill; Rachel and her husband, Michael; Sarah; Laura and her husband, Todd; Christian and his wife, Jaime; Leah and her husband, Ryan; nine great-grandchildren.
Memorials may be sent to: St. John Lutheran Church, Charter Oak, for the holiday decorating fund, Vacation Bible School or Sunday School; the Lutheran Hour; or Charter Oak EMTs.