Helen Schmelzle, 94, of Seneca, Kansas passed away January 21, 2017 at Life Care Center in Seneca, going home to the arms of her Savior and Lord who she loved all the days of her life.
Helen was born July 8, 1922 on a farm Northwest of Seneca; daughter of Louis August and Ella Marie Hurley Haefele. She attended St. Peter and Paul Grade School and graduated from St Peter & Paul High School in 1940.
She married Gilbert J. Schmelzle on April 12, 1947 at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. They celebrated many wonderful anniversaries having been blessed with 63+ years of marriage before his death.
During their first 9 years of marriage they started a family and farmed at Seneca and Centralia. In 1956 they moved to a farm of their own a few miles south and west of Corning. She was a faithful wife and loving mother and homemaker. She gave of her time to her children, passing on her faith in her Lord, helping with homework and school projects, always trying to help provide for their needs in many ways; all the while helping her husband run a Grade A dairy farm and a registered dog kennel. Her beautiful little puppies delighted her grandchildren and went on to find wonderful homes. She would sometimes receive phone calls and letters from their happy owners.
When they moved to Corning, they joined St Patrick Catholic Church where she was a faithful member for 41 years. She served on the Altar Society, being a Band Leader and Vice President, serving her church wherever needed from leadership roles at Parish Picnics, and many humble ways like cleaning the church and making quilts with other friends from St. Patrick. She continued to enjoy sewing over the years making many beautiful quilts and needle work pieces, giving them as personal gifts to her children and grandchildren.
She also served her community as President of the American Legion Auxiliary at Corning Post # 37. She was active in the Red Vermillion 4H Club, serving as sewing leader for 2 years. Helen and Gilbert enjoyed playing Cards with a Card Party Group of special friends for over 25 years.
In 1997 Helen and Gilbert retired and moved to Seneca and once again became members of St Peter and Paul Catholic Church where she had been baptized and they had been married. For many years, Helen and Gilbert prayed together at an hour of Adoration each week.
Helen is preceded in death by her husband, Gilbert who was her life and prayer partner; caring for each other ever since they met. Her parents, Louis and Ella Haefele and 3 brothers, Louis Haefele, Leonard Haefele and Joseph Haefele who died shortly after birth; and 1 sister Mary Ann Beatty; 3 grandchildren, Angela Harrington, Sean Harrington and Richard Harrington.
She is survived by her family who she watched over with love: 5 children: Mary Lou Gudenkauf and her husband, Ken, of Topeka, Kansas; Karen Harrington and her husband, Jim, of Plano, Texas; Julie Nichol and her husband, Tom, of Neodesha, Kansas; Greg Schmelzle and his wife, Debbie, of Onaga, Kansas; Joan Henry and her husband, Rick of Seneca, Kansas; 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren; Two sisters, Rose Solar and Betty Haefele.
Helen spent her life dedicated to her Lord and His Blessed Mother, her Family, her Church, her Friends and Community.
Rosaries will be prayed Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at 2 and 7 P.M. at the Lauer Funeral Home in Seneca, Kansas. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 A.M. Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Seneca.
Burial will be in the St. Peter and Paul Church Cemetery.