Helen Irene Yerger passed away on June 6, 2020, at Tender Nest, where she made many special friends. She was 95. Even though she had battled the effects of dementia the last several years, one thing was always foremost in her mind: how precious her family was to her.
Helen was born on Monday, Aug. 18, 1924, to Alex and Pauline (Rupp) Frickel. She was raised in a family with six sisters and two brothers, and attended school in Laurel. She met her future husband, George Yerger, at a Shepherd dance, and they were married on Oct. 15, 1944. To this union, three daughters were born: Judy, Ruby and Georgia. George and Helen initially farmed in the Shepherd area until 1960 before moving to Billings. While living in Billings and because she was a hard worker, Helen enjoyed employment outside the home. She worked as a housekeeper, meat wrapper, an employee at Meadow Gold and the Laurel Creamery, in retail sales, and even owned and operated her own restaurant named Helen’s Café. She was a strong and self-reliant woman who cared for George in their home after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 1999 until his death in 2002. After losing George, she continued to live independently, maintaining her own home; even scrubbing her floors on her hands and knees until she was 92 years old, prior to moving to assisted living.
Helen is survived by her daughters, Ruby Moore and Georgia (Chuck) Walter, and her son-in-law Vernon West, all of Billings; along with two sisters, Jane Streck and Delores Gerber. Also surviving her are six grandsons, Darwin (Leslie) and Dale West, Ronald (Susie) and Randy (Terri) Moore, Jason (Phillip Dulion) and Brandon (Kim) Walter; 12 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Helen was preceded in death by her husband, George; daughter Judy West; and son-in-law Lyle Moore.
Helen was an avid pinochle player and enjoyed countless games with her family and friends and, no matter what the score was, she never gave up a game because she knew her next hand was going to be a 1500 double run or at a minimum, 1000 aces. She had the most wonderful outgoing personality and loved to laugh at herself. She possessed a “Gift of Gab” like no other and could make friends with total strangers in moments. When she sat on an airplane next to someone she had never met, you would hear them laughing together before takeoff. Her “Woman’s Intuition” was so accurate it was almost scary. If you discounted it, you would be wrong! Above all, Helen’s life revolved around her family. She took special delight in attending all of her grandchildren’s sporting and extracurricular events. Helen was always there for her family, providing guidance, love and a helping hand. Her family has lost its last member of “America’s Greatest Generation.” She was one of those people so steeped in honesty, quality and goodness you could feel it in her presence. These are the memories her family will treasure and carry in their hearts forever.
Memorials in honor of Helen may be made to Pilgrim Congregational Church or to the charity of your choice.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary, 1001 Alderson Ave. Funeral services, followed by a luncheon, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 409 S. 36th St. Casket will be open at the church prior to services. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.