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Obituary: Helen Leo Vandeberg


April 20, 2017

Courtesy photo

Helen Leo Vandeberg passed away April 3 in Duvall Washington, just 11 days before her 96th birthday.

Helen was a pioneer in the field of family planning and the first educated nurse practitioner in the Havre community. Dr. James Kelly was her preceptor and together they started the clinic which over the years counseled many men and women in the use of birth control, reproductive health care, e.g. pap smears and breast exams. Many low-income women received their pap smears and life saving diagnosis such as breast lumps because of this committed nurse.

Helen was the daughter of James Leo and Cecil (Holland) Leo and attended grade-school in Wagner, Montana. She went to Washington for high school and lived with her grandparents Holland. She received her nursing diploma from Sacred Heart Hospital.

Helen married Alfred Vandeberg, and to this union were born James and Stella. When Al passed away, Helen moved her mother, Cecil, in with her and they were together in Havre for many years entertaining their many friends for coffee and dinners. Helen was an active member of the Nurses Association, AARP and was a charter member of Messiah Lutheran Church.

Helen and Cecil moved to Seattle and were close to the family and one of Helen's most exciting moments there was being present for the delivery of her great-granddaughter. It was the grand finale after helping at hundreds of deliveries at the Deaconess and Northern Montana Hospital delivery room.

Helen was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Stella Jean, her half-brother, Joe Leo, and her husband.

She is survived by many nieces and nephews and sisters-in-law and brother-in-law as well as her son James and daughter Stella (Ron) Black and grandchildren Matt and Mark (Megan) and Wyatt Vandeberg (as well as his mother Bobbin Vandeberg) Kevin Henderson and Julie (Jeff) Bailey and four great-grandchildren

Helen kept in touch with friends to hear what was happening in Havre and will be missed by her extended family. Helen was placed beside her family at the Highland Cemetery in Havre and no formal funeral services will be held. Praise God for this good and faithful servant.


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