May 2, 1923 – May 10, 2012
On May 10, 2012, Helen Altwies passed away at LindenGrove-Waukesha. The daughter of Albert and Signe (Johnson) Opsahl, Helen was born May 2, 1923, in Menomonie, Mich., the youngest of four children and the only girl.
The family moved to the Pewaukee/Hartland area in 1929. Helen graduated from Pewaukee High School in 1942. During World War II, she moved to Waukesha and worked at Borden’s. There she met Peter Altwies. They were married June 17, 1944, at First Baptist Church, Waukesha.
Over the years, Helen worked at Oakton Manor, Moor Baths, McCoy’s and was one of the original employees of Sentry on Bank Street. She ran the deli at Sentry for many years. Helen and Pete enjoyed traveling, their home and square dancing. After Pete’s death in 1988, she continued to square dance with the Dousman Derby Dancers and Spring City Squares. Helen also was active in First Baptist Church in Waukesha, serving on many boards and committees. Active in the community, she volunteered with RSVP/Interfaith, the Caring Place and Meals on Wheels. She was active in the Golden Angels and Homemakers. Helen spent quality time with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved to cook and entertain.
Helen is survived by her children, Diane (Don) Valentine, Beverly (Steve) Wassam and Jim (DeAnna) Altwies; grandchildren, Suzanne (Mark) Hoefgen, Margi (Josh) Eckl, Peter (Ann) Valentine, Tess (Erik) Wolbach and Angie (Joel) Fry; 11 great-grandchildren; and many step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren. Also surviving is her sister-in-law, Julia Elaine Graves of Scottsdale, Ariz., and cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Preceding her in death are her husband, Peter; brothers, John Arnold (Gen/Norma); Robert (Dora) and Charles (Marie); sisters-in-law, Edwina Jones and Leah (Nordine) Degner; and brothers-in-law, Jim (Betty) Altwies and Clyde Graves.
As per her wishes, Helen’s body was donated to the Medical College of Wisconsin.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to first Baptist Church of Waukesha, the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Interfaith Caregivers or to the charity of the donor’s choice.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Linden-Grove-Waukesha and the staff of Home and Hospice Advantage. They made Mom’s last days comfortable.
Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until the 3 p.m. service Saturday, May 19, at the First Baptist Church of Waukesha, at the corner of Grand and Wisconsin avenues.