Helen A. Hoemann

Helen A. Hoemann, 96, of Hiawatha, died Tuesday morning, July 14, 2020, at Hiawatha Community Hospital.  She previously had made her home at Maple Grove Senior Housing, prior to becoming a resident of Maple Heights Nursing Home.

Helen was born at Burchard, Nebraska, July 22, 1923, one of thirteen children born to Frank and Antonia Vetrosky Penkava and had lived in southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas her entire life. Her early years were spent at Table Rock where she attended school thru the eighth grade.  Helen received an award for her penmanship and spelling.  She worked at various occupations through the years:  house cleaning, wallpapering, all the way to being a bookkeeper for her son-in-law Clair Berkley.  Most important to Helen was raising her children, later watching her grandchildren grow into being responsible, loving individuals.

She was a member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Falls City, Nebraska, Hamlin Homemakers and Northwest Morrill EHU, VFW ladies auxiliary, ZCBJ at Dubois, a 75 plus year member and Bridge Club…she loved to play bridge!  She enjoyed making quilts for all her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She loved to garden and canning her produce she raised.

She married Otto Blecha, December 29, 1941.  While he was in the service, she and Doris lived with her brother Edward near Dubois, NE.  After Otto returned from WW II, the family of five lived in a three-room farm home near DuBois prior to settling in the Morrill-Hamlin area in 1961.  He died on April 8, 1973.  She later married Ernest Hoemann on February 16, 1974.  They made their home on a farm near Morrill before moving to Falls City before he died February 17, 2004.

These two unions blended two families into one where they welcomed, treated, and loved each other’s children as their own.

Survivors include her children Doris Marteny of Hiawatha, Linda Berkley of Hiawatha, Mary Herbster (Robert) of Sabetha, Marcia Salyer (Steve) of Wellsville; siblings Alfred Penkava and Elma Lee Bucholz; sister in law Dorothy Penkava; 16 grandchildren, with numerous great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Otto and Ernest, children Judy Bestwick, Jere Herold, son in law Clair Berkley, siblings Eva Mae, Emilie Hubka, Victor, Frank, Millie Znamenacek, Jerry, Edward, Lester, Elmer, and Irene Blecha.

A graveside service is planned for 1:30 Friday afternoon, July 24, at the Hamlin Cemetery with Andrew Chavanak officiating. 

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Helen Hoemann Memorial Fund sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S 7th St., 66434.

A special message or remembrance may be sent to the family at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com.

Service can be viewed at Facebook Group Page: Chapel Oaks Funeral Hiawatha & Highland KS.

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