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July 22, 2019

6/13/2019 7:30:00 AM
Helen Kolberg

Helen Kolberg passed away June 10, 2019, with her loving family by her side, after a short illness. She was born on the Fourth of July, 1930, in Ely, Minn. Her parents, Jacob and Anna Maki, were both immigrants from Finland. She truly enjoyed her birthday every year with marching bands and picnics!

She graduated from Ely High School in 1948, and enrolled in nursing school at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minn. She graduated from there, in 1951, and began her nursing career.

During her nursing school summer break in 1950, while working as a cabin girl at a fly-in resort in the Minnesota Boundary Waters area, she met her husband Anton (Spike) Kolberg, who was working there as a fishing guide. They married in 1951 and spent 54 years together.

After they were married, they moved to Baltimore, M.D., where Helen worked at Cedar Sinai Hospital in the maternity unit, while her husband, Spike, worked on Merchant Marine ships. After one year there, they saved enough money to move back to Rhinelander and start the process of building a log home in the town of Crescent. Spike and his father built the log house that Helen lived in until her death.

Her life was filled with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was fortunate to have her family in Rhinelander who helped her out immeasurably, so that she could stay in her own home.

While raising four girls, Helen was employed at Saint Mary's Hospital, Rhinelander, in the obstetrics department for 35 years. She worked nights and retired in 1992. She was recognized at her retirement for assisting with 1,870 deliveries, and only using three sick days during her 35 years there.

Women would see Helen in a store and tell her that she had been the nurse when they delivered their baby. They would thank her for her empathy and kindness when they really needed it. Some women would ask for her when they came to the hospital to deliver their baby with "Where's Helen? I want Helen!" She saw many souls come into this world.

She is survived by her children, Sherry (Danny) Poler of La Crosse, Rhonda (Richard Cargin) Kolberg-Cargin of Sturgeon Bay, Tina (Mike) Lee of Rhinelander, and Lori (Alvin) Lunzman of Pringle, S.D.; special grandmother of Stephanie, Omar, Ascension, Lucas, Dustin, Derek, Dylan, and Levi; great-grandmother of Gabrielle, Henry, Parker, Harper, Cooper, Rowan, and Theo; and sister-in-law Betty Kolberg. She is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and special friend Pat Ekman. She was preceded in death by her husband Anton (Spike) Kolberg, her parents, Anna and Jacob, her sisters Emily, Esther, Elsie, and Violet (Theo); and her brothers William, Theodore, Robert, and Einard; her sisters-in-law Mary Goulee, Clarice Kolberg; and brothers-in-law Jon Kolberg, Don Kolberg, and James Goulee.

Special thanks to the staff at Rennes Health and Rehab Center in Rhinelander for the kindness and care shown to Helen during her stay.

A celebration of life will be held to remember Helen, and share our best memories and moments on June 29, 2019, at the Woodpecker Bar and Grill, 6776 Co Rd K, Rhinelander, from noon to 3 p.m. You may leave your private condolences for the Kolberg family at The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is handling the arrangements for the Kolberg family.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2019
Article comment by: Judy (Lepak) Keintz

So sorry for your loss. Helen was a lovely lady.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2019
Article comment by: Sandy Kurth-Fish

My sympathies Sherry, Rhonda, Tina, and Lori. Spent many great times at your house when in grade school. My mother used to tell me Sherry and I were born 2 days apart and That is when our mothers became friends. In my thoughts and prayers.

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Article comment by: Dotty (Jenkins) Hoffelt

To the precious family of Helen Kolberg,
Sending my deepest sympathy after learning of the death of your dear Mother, Grandma, and Great Grandma.
Helen was a treasured friend and co-worker of my Mom, Dorris Jenkins. Helen was a mentor for Mom in the OB ward of St. Mary's. What a positive impact Helen had on the thousands of women who became mothers on "her watch!"
Helen continued her friendships outside the hospital walls. Phone calls, visits, and regular trips to a casino or two brought friends together for many, many years.
Thank you for sharing Helen with so many in the community she made it a better place everyday.
Respectfully, Dotty (Jenkins) Hoffelt

Posted: Saturday, June 15, 2019
Article comment by: June Kriesel-Vandenberg

What wonderful memories we shared with your family. Your log home was beautiful. Your very large St. Bernard dog!
How fortunate to have your mother in your adult life.

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