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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 26, 2019

3/30/2019 7:30:00 AM

Helen Engstrom was born in Rhinelander, in 1922, to Frank and Anna (Johnson) La Roche. The only girl with four brothers, Albert, Edward, Frank Jr., and Robert (died as an infant). She attended school through eighth grade. Helen was employed as a nanny and then as a clerk at Montgomery Wards in Rhinelander until she married Arvid Engstrom in 1943. They had two daughters, Diana Sweo and Susan (Scott) Sorley. They gave her four grandchildren, Tammy Sweo (Troy Verdick), Ricky (Mary) Sweo, Carolyn Sorley (who died shortly after birth), and Stuart Sorley. They have given her five great-grandchildren: Tyler and Ashley Verdick, Robin (Basel) McMillen, Katlyn (Matt) Knill and Zakk Sorley and one great-great-grandson, George Knill. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Helen was very instrumental in church, both at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Bundy and at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Rhinelander. She enjoyed fishing and pontooning on the river, snowmobiling, cooking for family gatherings, birthday parties and holidays, sewing, gardening, playing cards with the gang and doing bookwork for Engstrom Builders (their family business).

Helen lived her adult life in Bundy, then moved to Rhinelander and then to the house on the river and eventually to the nursing home in Tomahawk. And now to Heaven to be reunited with all her loved ones. Say hi to everyone from us, Mom. It's been so hard watching her drift away.

The visitation for Helen will take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at the Hildebrand Funeral Home from 1 to 4 p.m. A light lunch will be served in the Hildebrand Funeral Home Banquet Room during the visitation. The Committal Service will take place on Monday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Forest Home Cemetery. Please meet at the cemetery entrance at the corner of Coon and Newell streets at 12:45 p.m. for the procession to the gravesite. Hildebrand Funeral Home & Cremation Specialists, 24 E. Davenport Street, Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501, 715-365-4343. Everyone is invited to light a candle, sign the guestbook, leave a photo or an online condolence at

Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Article comment by: Mary Mibrath-Peters

My prayers are with you. I really loved your mother. My everyone be comforted by the Lord.

Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2019
Article comment by: Bill Murphy

Susan and Scott,
So sorry to hear of your lose. Take care. Hope to see you again at the reunion.

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The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

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