Monday, February 2, 2009


Melrose - Estella Mae Helgenset, 96, died Thursday, January 22, 2009 at Melrose Pine Villa Care Center, Melrose.  Funeral services were held Monday, January 26, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Reverend Greg Schram officiating.

Casket bearers included Jason Hall, James Hall II, Rodney Helgenset, Howard Hvidsten, Mark Hanson and Jim DuCamp. Honorary casket bearers include all of Estella’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and special neighbor and friend, Lillian Groven.

Interment was held at the Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.

Estella Mae Kisner was born June 14, 1912, to Otto and Edith (Garrigan) Kisner. Estella attended country school in Wylie Township and the Black River School.

On January 15, 1938, Estella was united in marriage to Harry Helgenset. The couple made their home in Thief River Falls. In the late 1960’s, they moved to Kansas, returning home to Minnesota in 1970. Estella lived in her home until April 2000, when she moved into Valley Home Assisted Living and lived there until May 2004. At that time, she moved into Pine Villa Care Center, Melrose.

Over the years, Estella was active as a member of the Ladies Aid and Bible study classes at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. She loved to embroider, crochet and quilt. Estella is survived by a daughter, Janice (James) Hall, Trimble, Mo.; three grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and one sister, Arlene Avery, Pontiac, Mo.

Estella was preceded in death by husband, Harry in 1991; her parents; four sisters, Alice Mosbeck, Grace LaCoursiere, Gladys Johnson and infant sister, Ruth. Funeral arrangements were with Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Family condolences may be sent by visiting

I see that Estelle Helgenset and Grace LaCoursiere were sisters! This all makes sense now when I think about Cliff Rye and Mel's wedding and just who where part of the wedding ceremony and helpers. Mrs. Mosbeck, her aunt, played the piano! Mrs. Helgenset served!

If you are having trouble following this:
Cliff Rye was Ella Rye's brother
He married Melvina LaCoursiere at the Black River Church in November of 1944.
Mel's mother, Grace, was a Kisner, the sister of Estella.
That made Estella, Linda Rye's aunt!

Estelle and Harry lived in a red brick one story house (in town) yet on the outskirts of HWY 59 going south. My friend Barbara Benson, (from Four Town area) bought the house and lived there. The house is gone now, replaced by who knows what.

I was a friend of her niece by marriage, Betty. Harry and Ernest were brothers in the Plumbing and Heating business. I wonder if they built the houses at the same time because they sure looked alike. The Ernie house was on the corner of 400 South Merriam and Hughes Street. I would stop and get Betty on the way to Knox School. The last time I was by there, the flat roofed house had been replaced with a pitched roof.

I always wondered why Harry and Estella moved to KS. Now I know, Grace was there and most likely Harry went to work for the Sunflower Ammo plant. The plant reopened in the mid sixties and was fully operational in 1966.

It is hard to know what Janice did when her parents when south. She graduated in 1957 and well on her way to adult hood.

Watch those newspaper articles, you never know just what will spark!


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