Helen Ferwerda

Obituary of Helen Ferwerda

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Helen Ferwerda, age 76, died in the presence of her family at Avera Sister James Care Center in Yankton, SD on Saturday evening, September 28, 2013. A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 AM, Thursday, October 3, 2013 at St. Benedict Catholic Church, Yankton with Rev. Leonard Kayser celebrating and Rev. Ken Lulf concelebrating. Burial will be approximately at 1:30 PM in the St. Leo's Catholic Cemetery, Tyndall, SD. Visitations will be from 5-7 PM, Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory, Yankton with a 7 PM rosary followed by a video tribute and 7:30 PM Scripture service. Visitations will resume one hour prior to the service at the church. Helen Marie Hersman was born on May 1, 1937 in Scotland, SD, the fourth child of Emilie Magera Hersman and Joseph Hersman. Helen was raised in Tyndall, SD and graduated from Tyndall High School in 1955. She received a degree in Radiologic Technology from St. Vincent Hospital School of Radiologic Technology in 1957. Helen worked as a Radiologic Technologist at St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre, St. Michael's Hospital in Tyndall, and Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. She served for many years and ended her career as the Radiology Department Head at Sacred Heart, duties that also included overseeing the Sacred Heart School of Radiologic Technology. Helen was very active in the South Dakota Society of Radiologic Technology (SDSRT), presenting several papers and film exhibits at conferences and serving in a leadership positions, including as President and as Board Chair. Helen married Layton Ferwerda, from Springfield, SD, on April 7, 1958 in Tyndall, SD. They lived in Pierre, Tyndall, and Scotland, before settling in Yankton in 1963. Helen and Layton had two children, Mary (currently residing in Milwaukee, WI) and Michael (currently residing in Bozeman, MT). Helen's Catholic faith was integral to her life. She was a member of the Sacred Heart Parish and then of St. Benedict's Parish at its inception. She was a spiritual mentor and guide to many with whom she spent time, particularly those who shared her company in prayer and reflection groups. Helen was gifted with deep and lasting friendships, maintaining these relationships through decades and miles. Her friends were present to her throughout her life and particularly in the weeks preceding her death. Many have expressed their gratitude for how Helen has influenced and shaped their lives. She truly lived a life of love, compassionate, and respect for others. Helen was preceded in death by her father, Joseph; her mother, Emilie; her brothers, Robert Hersman and Raymond Hersman. She is survived by her husband, Layton; her daughter, Mary (Rob Sieracki), her son, Michael; her dear sister, Caroline Weisser; her younger brothers, Ernest Hersman and Joseph Hersman (Sue Hersman); a large extended family; and numerous beloved friends. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the National Parkinson's Foundation, Gift Processing Center, PO Box 5018 Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018 or Avera Sacred Heart Hospice, 501 Summit, Yankton, SD 57078.
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Helen Ferwerda

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