By HDN Staff
CHESTER Helen Ann Aaberg, 77, of Bozeman, formerly of Chester, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2002, of heart failure at her home.
Services will be held at Holy Rosary Church in Bozeman with a vigil at 7 p.m. today and the funeral at 10 a.m. Friday. There will be a memorial service at St. Mary's Church in Chester at 11 a.m. Monday, followed by burial of the ashes at the Chester Cemetery. The St. Mary's Altar Society will serve a lunch at the church following the burial.
Helen, or "Lanie" as she was known by some of her friends, was born Aug. 8, 1924, to Peter Miller Kuhry and Elizabeth (Zettel) Kuhry in Chester. She attended Chester High School and Holy Names College in Spokane, Wash. Her college career was shortened by hard times and the war. She returned to Chester where she worked for the federal government. She began working in the Chester post office in the mid 1950s and became postmistress in 1967. She retired in 1989. After her retirement, she spent winters in Bozeman for three years, moving there permanently in 1992.
An accomplished pianist, Helen was organist and choir director for many years at St. Mary's Parish. She was a co-founder of the Liberty County Arts Council in 1967. In a tribute to her, Arlynn Fishbaugh of the Montana Arts Council said, "(Helen) was an amazing woman who deeply influenced the arts in this state. She not only left a hallmark on the state through her work, but through her son. We are all so lucky for her remarkable contributions."
Helen's positions are reflections of her many interests in life and included election to the Chester School Board, first vice president of the Montana Democratic Women's Club, president of the Montana Genealogy Society, treasurer of the State Postmasters' Association, Museum of the Rockies docent, and member of the Chester Garden Club and the Liberty County Shutterbugs.
She was an avid bridge player, and continued that interest in Bozeman, attending many state tournaments and marathons. She also was active in many organizations and study groups within the Catholic Church at both Holy Rosary in Bozeman and St. Mary's in Chester and was involved in some community action, study and service groups, including Meals on Wheels.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her sisters, Marjorie Freemole and Marietta Pace O'Connor, and her brother, Florian J. Kuhry.
Survivors include her sons, Stephen Aaberg of Billings and Phillip (Patricia Belknap) Aaberg of Oakland, Calif.; brother, Wil (Ann Lambert) Kuhry of Havre; brother-in-law, George Freemole of Great Falls; four grandsons; many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be given to charities for the poor or to the Humane Society of Gallatin County.