CLARKSON — Helen Cecelia Evans, 91, of Clarkson, passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, at Clarkson Care and Rehabilitation Center surrounded by her family.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at SS Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Clarkson with Father Rod Kneifl officiating. She was a member of SS Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church.
Visitation will be 4-6 p.m. Wednesday, with a rosary following, all at the church. Visitation will continue from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Thursday at the church. Interment will be in the Clarkson Catholic Cemetery.
Helen Paprocki was born on Nov. 21, 1925, to John P. (Champ) and Salamae (Cuba) Paprocki at the family farm by Tarnov. She was the oldest of seven children. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Michaels Church in Tarnov and was a student at St. Michaels School until the eighth grade.
When Helen was around 16 years old, she moved with her aunt and uncle to Renton, Washington, where she helped take care of their children. After a short time in Washington State, she decided to work at Boeing Aircraft, helping to assemble B-29 Bombers during World War II.
After the war she returned to Tarnov unsure of what her future would be. That fate was settled when she went to West Point and sold a raffle ticket to a handsome young serviceman, Donald James Evans, who asked her out on a date on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1946, and it was love at first sight, each saying they had found the person they were going to marry. The couple eloped to Kansas City, Kansas, on Friday, Oct. 18, 1946. To this union one daughter, Helen Faith (Evans) Reick, was born. In June 1972, Jim and Helen decided to adopt two children, Tonya and Glenn Evans, making their family complete. The couple were also grandparents to Daniel, Patricia and Laura Reick and great-grandchildren, Kaitlin Reick and Megan and Nathan Bahns.
Marrying Jim thrust Helen into the newspaper business, where she started to hand-set type for the newspaper and saw the newspaper industry grow for over 60 years.
Through her 48 years in Clarkson, she belonged to a number of organizations, including the Clarkson Commercial Club, lifetime member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, member of the Clarkson School Board and a member of the Nebraska Press Association, where she received the Golden Pica Pole Award for being in the newspaper business for over 50 years. In 2007, she was chosen for the “Krajanka” award, given annually during the Clarkson Czech Festival. She was proud of her Polish heritage and proud to be a Democrat, never missing a chance to vote.
Helen was especially proud of her daughter, Tonya, and her granddaughter and her family, Laura, Darrell, Megan and Nathan Bahns, who were with her till her last moments.
She is survived by her daughter, Tonya Evans; granddaughter, Laura (Darrell) Bahns and great-grandchildren Megan and Nathan Bahns; sisters, Geraldine (Richard) Preister, Mary Jean (Kelly) Schrant of Humphrey, Dorothy (Donald) Schaecher of Gretna and Charlotte (Ray) Jemison of Columbus; sister-in-law, Kate Paprocki of Omaha; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews and many great friends. Also, let’s not forgot her dog, Mitzi Suh, who brought her joy in the last years of her life.
Other survivors include a daughter, Helen Faith (James) Reick; grandson, Daniel Reick; granddaughter, Patti Reick and great-granddaughter Kaitlin Reick, all of Clarkson; and a son, Glenn James Evans of California.
She was preceded in death by her husband, D.J. “Jim” Evans on Sept. 19, 1998; parents, John and Mae Cuba; and brothers, Emil and Francis Paprocki.
Condolences may be sent to www.millersfh.com.