A Mass of Christian Burial for Helen Novacek of Roseau, MN will be held on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 11:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Roseau. Visitation with social distancing will be on Thursday evening from 5-7 PM with a 7:00 prayer service at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Interment will be at the Blessed Sacrament Cemetery in Greenbush.
Helen Francis Novacek was born July 3, 1923 in Chicago, IL to Lewis Michael and Francis (Mickler) Dembiczak. In 1925 the family moved to Lake Alma, Saskatchewan, Canada, where they lived for a few years. In 1929 they moved to Good Soil, Saskatchewan (which is north of St. Walberg). There was no town at that time. They lived in a makeshift tent until her father was able to build a log cabin, filling the cracks with moss and mud. Wildlife was scarce so they didn’t have much meat to eat.
In the late 30’s a neighbor moved out to British Columbia. He encouraged Helen’s father to do the same where they would pan for gold. Mike packed the family and as much of their belongings and went to British Columbia. By then the family consisted of dad, mom, Helen, Lorraine, Hilary, and Evelyn. They lived along the Quesnel River. Sadly, both parents lost their lives drowning in the river so the children moved back to Lake Alma to live with their grandparents, the Mickler’s.
At the age of 18 Helen went to Greenbush, MN to live with her grandmother, Mary Dembiczak. After a short time, in 1943, she moved to St. Paul to find work. She worked at Brown and Bigelow during World War II.
Helen married John Novacek, who was in the Navy, in 1945, at the St. Aloysius Church in Leo, MN. By then the war was coming to an end. They purchased the farm from her grandmother, Mary Dembiczak, and lived there until 1954. John and Helen then moved to California with their girls, Sharon and Wanda. Helen worked at different restaurants and eventually purchased a restaurant in Berkeley, CA, with two others. In 1965 the family moved to Mankato, MN where they owned and operated a restaurant for about ten years. At that time they came back to Greenbush, MN and owned and operated the Greenlin Supper Club.
Helen retired in 1987. After retirement, she and John spent several winters in Arizona. John passed away in October, 1999. Helen lived at Sunburst apartments in Roseau, MN for several years. She also lived with her daughters Wanda and Sharon for a few years and spent a short time at Oak Crest Senior Living Center. She then moved to LifeCare Roseau Manor. Her last days were spent living with her daughters.
Helen was a past president of the American Legion Auxiliary and VFW Auxiliary and was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Roseau. She enjoyed needlework and crewel embroidery, adult coloring, crossword puzzles, puzzles, playing cards, cribbage, rummy, and canasta. She loved to go fishing.
She was a life-long learner who loved history and geography. She was a self-taught chef, business woman, and event organizer of banquets in restaurants for weddings and other events.
Helen is survived by her daughters Wanda (Vern) Olson, Sharon (Larry) Petrowski; foster daughter, Katie Kidder; grandchildren Monica (Dean) Halvorson, Lisa (Paul) Scherier, Michael (Jenny) Petrowski, Stacey (Devin) Stefonowicz, Evelyn (Eric) Schott, Patty (Jeff) Bennett, Christy (Scott) Severson, Scott (Tabitha) Petrowski, Tom (Ann) Kidder, John Kidder; great-grandchildren Grace-Helen, Bergen, Gerek Halvorson, Walter Petrowski, Madeline Stefonowicz, Alex and Audra Schott, Zak and Haylee Bennett, Adam and Anya Severson, Leo Violet and Ruby Petrowski, Eden Kidder; God-children JoAnn Hauger, Colleen Mekash; sister Lorraine; sister-in-law Georgine; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband John A. Novacek, parents Lewis Michael and Francis Dembiczak; sisters Delores and Evelyn; brother Hilary; great-grandson Shaw Stefonowicz; God-daughter Julie Paulson.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen F. Novacek, please visit our floral store.