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Helen M. Ortgies Hanken
April 9, 1919–June 6, 2012
Helen M. Hanken age 93 of Monticello, died Wednesday evening, June 6, 2012 at the Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation Center following a brief illness. Funeral services will be held 11:00 Monday morning, June 11, 2012 at the St. John's Lutheran Church, rural Monticello with interment in the Oakwood Cemetery. Pastor David Weber will officiate the service. Friends may call from 2 until 5 Sunday at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello. Thoughts, Memories, and Condolences may be left at www.goettschonline.com
Helen Ortgies, daughter of Louie and Dena Schafer Ortgies, was born April 9, 1919. She was oldest in a family of eight and first in her family to graduate from High School. When she entered country school, she could speak no English, learning German from her grandmother as her first language. After graduating from Monticello High School in 1937, She started working at John McDonald Hospital. When her sister in California asked for her help with her family, she left immediately. While there, she was hired to work in a service station for Standard Oil.
Deaths in the family back in Iowa, brought her home to assist her mother on the farm. Helen and Elmer Hanken were married November 17, 1948. They started out renting a farm in Lovell township and eventually moved on to there own place in Scotch Grove township where they farmed for thirty years. Helen also worked at Krysan Bakery, she cooked at John McDonald Hospital and the Wagon Wheel. She was an active member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in their ladies Aid and world relief efforts. She made noodles for the fall festival, was the head of the funeral lunch committee, and also cooked for the day care. Friends and family will miss the many scratch Angel food cakes she made for birthdays for many years. Her ability to cook was her art, and she did it with love which always made it special.
Helen is survived by 2 sons Steve Hanken of Cedar Rapids, Phil Hanken of Monticello, a son-in law, Bill Flannagan of Robins, 5 grandchildren,and 2 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her husband Elmer; her parents; a daughter, Sheila Flannagan; a brother Rudolph (Pete) Ortgies 4 sisters; Byrdena Poppe, Dorothy Tchantz, Minnie Fosek and Laura Killian.
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