Helyn Mertens, age 93, of Milbank died March 13, 2018, at St. William’s Care Center in Milbank.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 16 at 2:30 p.m. at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Milbank. Rev. Caleb Schewe will officiate and burial will be in the Milbank City Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home and continue at the church on Friday, one hour prior to the service. Music will be provided by Kristy Tostenson, organist; and vocalists: Chris, Max and Maci Salvevold. Casket bearers will be: Jeff Mertens, Josh Worley, Doug Mertens, Justin Mertens, Dan Mertens, Tyler Grabow, Matt Boogaard, and Nick Kunde.
Helyn Marion Steltz was born on January 16, 1925, in Milbank, SD. She was the daughter of George G. and Effie (Hoeke) Steltz. Helyn was baptized on April 19, 1925, by Rev. Fred Wesler at Zion Lutheran Church, Geneseo Township, Roberts County, SD. In that same church, and by the same minister, Helyn was confirmed on September 17, 1939.
Helyn attended eight years of school at Geneseo No. 3, the same school that her father had attended. She lived on the family farm northeast of Milbank for the first 14 years of her life. Her father died in 1936. In 1939, she and her mother moved into Milbank. Helyn graduated from Milbank High School with the Class of 1942.
Helyn was united in marriage with Melvin Mertens on June 8, 1941, in Bellingham, MN. They farmed together for several years in Madison Township before moving to Grant Center Township. Melvin died in 1994, and Helyn continued living on the farm until moving into Milbank in 1999.
Helyn was a faithful member of Emanuel Lutheran Church. She was a member of the Jolly Madison Extension Club for nearly 40 years. Helyn worked at Big Stone Cheese Factory (now Saputo) for several years before working at the Milbank Herald Advance. She later worked for the Grant County Review.
Helyn’s hobbies were many including a love of bird watching and feeding. She enjoyed dancing, gardening, and flowers. Helyn was an avid reader and enjoyed crocheting. Her family will treasure the many projects given to them. However, her ability to read and crochet was hampered when she was diagnosed with macular degeneration. With the help of a “reading machine” she was able to keep reading the newspapers and other correspondence.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Roger “Pat” (Sally) Mertens of Aberdeen, SD; LeAnne (Jim) Worley of Jamestown, ND; George (Julie) Mertens of Milbank, SD; Melody (Jim) Kunde of Milbank, SD; Wendy (Greg) Grabow of Twin Brooks, SD; daughter-in-law, Michelle Mertens of Brookings, SD; 17 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; two nieces and two nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; step-father, Adolph Kruger; husband; son, Mike, and two infant brothers.
The family suggests memorials may be given to Emanuel Lutheran Sunday Radio Broadcast, Salvation Army, or Milbank Community