Helen Bernice Knuth, age 88, of Reedsburg, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. There will be a big reunion when Gene turns the key in the Pearly Gate to let Helen in to be with him and their son, Darwin who passed away on December 14, 1966 at two days old. She was born on October 8, 1934 the daughter of John B. and Bernice B. (Lada) Horkan on the family farm in Reedsburg. In 1948 her dad fell and broke his hip and she became his hired man but she still graduated with 12 years of school. Helen got her driver’s license at the age of 14, since her dad needed transportation to town for the feed mill and grocery store.
She finally left the farm at the age of 21 to go work summers in the Dells. She then went to work at Teel Plastic in Baraboo, where she met her true love, Gene Knuth. Helen and Gene were united in marriage on April 8, 1961. Together they bought a farm and continued farming for 35 years. Along with farming, Helen was active in many local groups; the VFW Aux and was president for 40 years, enjoyed cooking for her VET, she was WRC treasurer for 20 years, CDA Aux officer for 16 years, was a RAMC Hoys member for 16 years and worked in the gift shop for 6 or more years. Helen was a Shamrock Club member for 18 years, was secretary for 5 years and was elected Irish Rose in 1991, for the Reedsburg and Sauk County Area. She sure had a great Irish heritage as her grandparents; Horkan’s, came from Ireland and settled in the Reedsburg area around 1850’s. In her high school gleaner of 1952, she was “The Irish Gal from Delve Way”
Even with farming and her time in clubs she and Gene still found time to travel. They covered almost all of the United States, especially Las Vegas, Branson, Nashville and Texas. They worked hard but enjoyed their 45 years together. Helen also catered for 25 years, weddings, anniversaries, graduations; you name it Helen did it. Helen also made crafts for 16 years for the VFW at Christmas time. She finally retired in her late 70’s.
Helen was a talented quilt maker. She has made at least 100 quilts in her lifetime. Every niece and nephew received a quilt as a wedding present, anyone who made her quilts received one and she made lots of baby quilts. Maybe now she is making quilts in heaven for all the angels.
After 45 years of wedded life, Gene went to heaven on October 31, 2005 to wait for her. Their infant son Darwin passed away on December 14, 1966 at 2 days old. In addition she is preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, John and Jed; sister, Bernadine Walsh; brother-in-law, Bob Walsh; grandparents; aunts and uncles; nieces and nephews; her in-laws and many friends.
Helen is survived by her son, Douglas John of Reedsburg; grandchildren, Nicholas John and Abigail Jade; siblings, Larry and Jan Horkan, Ed and Judy Horkan, both of Reedsburg; sister-in-law, Lois Horkan; special friends, Bill Brown and Mike O’Brien; sisters-in-law- Marcia and Joan Knuth of Janesville; along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Helen Knuth will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, March 24, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Reedsburg with Father Patrick Wendler officiating. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 P.M. on Thursday, March 23 at the Farber Funeral Home with a Prayer Service conducted at 4:00 P.M. Visitation will also be on Friday from 10:00 A.M. until the time of the service at the church. Memorials of remembrance may be made to the Reedsburg VFW and Auxiliary.