(SAINT PAUL, Minn.) Helen Nelson Buche, 85, passed away at her home in Saint Paul on July 6, 2019.
Born Nov. 17, 1933, in Preston, Minn., Helen was preceded in death by her parents, Stanley and LaVeta Mullane Nelson, and beloved aunt, Agnes Mullane.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, John Buche of Saint Paul; and their three children, Carol (Jason Hawke) of Saint Paul, Karen (Don Clark) of LaFayette, Ala., and Karl Buche (Cheryl Elsey) of Maplewood, Minn.; two nephews and one niece.
After being raised in Preston and graduating high school there, Helen graduated with honors from Winona State Teachers College in 1955, where she was awarded the Purple Key by the Honor Society. In 1977 Helen was awarded two master's of science degrees in reading and special education and was an elementary school remedial reading teacher for many years in the Smithtown school district on Long Island, N.Y. In November 1992, just before she retired, she was the recipient of the New York State Reading Association's Reading Teacher Award for Outstanding Service in Reading Education.
Helen married John in Lafayette, Ind., while John attended Purdue University and graduated as a Naval officer. Helen raised her three children through years of frequent moves to various Naval assignments: as far north as Syracuse, N.Y., as far east as Norfolk, Va., as far south as New Orleans, and as far west as Honolulu, Hawaii. She was very proud of the fact that her children missed only a half-day of school through all the moves. After John retired from active duty, they settled on Long Island where Helen restarted her teaching career.
After her retirement, Helen and John returned to Minnesota and bought a grand old house in the Summit Hill neighborhood in Saint Paul, which they took great delight in restoring to its former grandeur. During her years in Saint Paul, she was a tireless volunteer in community affairs as a member of the American Association of University Women, the volunteer coordinator for the Summit Hill House Tour, and president of the Norwegian organization Totenlaget in America.
Mass of Christian burial will be Tuesday, July 16, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Saint Paul, with visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Saint Columbanus Cemetery, Preston.
Willwerscheid Funeral Home, Saint Paul.