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October 18, 2021

10/10/2017 7:27:00 AM
Helen Joan Humphrey Klingen

Helen Joan Humphrey Klingen, age 68, was born Monday, July 11, 1949, in Chicago, to Joseph Andrew and Gertrude Helene Marie (Schroeder) Humphrey. She left this world and walked into the arms of Jesus on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.

Helen was raised on the south side of Chicago, the fourth child of 13 and was considered the big little sister of the family. Helen was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and grandmother, an attentive friend, confidant and sounding board to many. She was a mother also to so many more than the children she bore (you know who you are). She had a quick wit, a no-nonsense approach and a dry sarcastic humor that she graciously passed on to her children.

She attended Our Lady of Peace Catholic grade school in Chicago and graduated from Mercy Catholic High School in 1967. She attended De Paul University of Chicago where she studied accounting. She met her husband and life partner of 40 years, Bill Klingen, at her niece's christening. She worked for Chicago Title and Trust until she applied for maternity leave (and she liked to joke about still being on that leave). She moved to Sugar Camp in May 1978 where she proceeded to co-own and operate Klingen's Idlewilde Tavern and Campground for 31 years with her husband and an additional three years after his death, closing April 1, 2012.

Helen loved to host, to entertain, to prepare and make food, whether she hosted parties with Bill at their apartment in Calumet City or was organizing for a gathering, football game, various community events or the family reunion. She hosted the family reunion along with her sister-in-law Cookie Humphrey for over 20 years at her home in Sugar Camp. She was always making sure (like many Humphrey women) that everyone was OK and that everyone was being fed. She opened her home every Thanksgiving to many a deer hunter and patron. She looked forward each year to the Hodag Country Festival where many Hodag Jag Baggers would camp and enjoy food, drink, camaraderie, campfires and music.

She enjoyed reading for pleasure and knowledge, playing horseshoes with all of the girls for many years, crocheting, bowling, baking, dancing, planting flowers, playing pool and darts with her kids, playing cribbage with patrons, visiting the casino with her son Clifford, playing Words with Friends with her grandson Michael and listening to him read the readings at church. She loved to sing at church and also to sing karaoke at the bar with family and friends. Some of her favorite go to songs included "The Rising Son," "I'm not Lisa," "White Rabbit" and "Wedding Bell Blues," where she sang "Bill, I love you so and I always will," never failing to put a smile on his face; she developed an affinity for a song called "The Story" and had been learning this as one of her go-to songs to sing. Her voice was beautiful and sound, powerful and true, always comforting. It will echo in our hearts forever.

She was quick to give and share everything she had with anyone in need, out of kindness, consideration and understanding. She always brought people together. Although she wasn't always one to say it, she loved deeply and with the entirety of her heart. She united her family and held them together in times of loss and trial, through the illness of her son Clifford who she never gave up on and who is alive today because of her faith. Helen was always looking for ways to learn and grown in her faith, through her love of the church, Jesus and His mother Mary. Helen's faith was strengthened even through illness, she had a faith that united her family and was instilled in her children. We give thanks and praise to our God who was so good to bless us with this amazing woman and trust as Helen did to, "Be not afraid," John 6:20 and believe, "I go Before You Always, Come Follow Me, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Helen is survived by her five children, Liz Niskanen of Menominee, Mich., Cyrus (Jennie) Klingen of Rhinelander, Pati Klingen, Sharon (Ben) Ninedorf and Clifford Klingen, all of Sugar Camp. She is survived by her nine grandchildren, Michael, Jaelyn, Marissa, Christian, Blake, Aubrey, Jana, Brantley and her newest baby girl, Hazel, who she was blessed with 6 short weeks ago. She is also survived by her sister, Val (Dick) Deehring, Margaret (Reggie) Krecioch Joe, Johnnie (Appleseed), Willie, Jimmy (Martha), Mary, Jeanie (Tom), Marty (Deb) Humphrey and her sister-in-law Josee Humphrey whom was a beautiful friend, support and strength to her. She is survived too, by her life-long friend of 53 years Jim (Anna) Kelly and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

In addition to her parents, Helen was preceded in death by her husband William Francis Klingen of 40 years, her infant son Michael Patrick Klingen (whom she now holds in her arms again), and her siblings, Trudy, Peter, Carl, Paul and sister-in-law Cookie, whose losses she still felt so deeply, up until her Oct. 6 reunion.

The visitation for Helen will take place on Friday evening Oct. 13, 2017, at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 4 to 7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Parish Prayer Service. A second visitation will be held on Saturday morning Oct. 14, 2017 at St. Kunegunda Catholic Church located at 6895 State Highway 17 North, from 9:30 a.m. until the 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will immediately follow the mass in the church cemetery. At the conclusion of the Graveside Service everyone is invited to a luncheon which will be held at the Sugar Camp Elementary School. After the luncheon all are welcome to join the family at Klingen's Idlewilde for continued fellowship.

Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Celebrating lives and healing hearts. All are invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or share a memory or an online condolence of Helen at

If you are unable to attend the visitation or funeral Mass there is the availability to Skype, please contact the funeral home to arrange.

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