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Obituary - Helen Francis Qunell


October 1, 2019

Helen Francis Qunell, 99, passed away due to natural causes on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at Missouri River Care in Fort Benton.

Cremation has taken place, and memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Geraldine, with burial at 3:30 p.m. in Calvary Cemetery in Havre, all on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

Helen’s family has suggested memorial donations be made to the St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Geraldine or to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.

Please visit Helen’s online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for her family at http://www.hollandbonine.com .

Helen was born on August 10, 1920, in Mosby, MT, to Volney Michael and Lena (Kleiman) Alexander. She was raised in Moore, graduating from high school there. On September 19, 1939, she married William “W.T.” Burtchett, and the couple had 10 children. They lived in Moore and Lewistown, before settling in Havre in 1950.

W.T. passed away in 1965, and on June 17, 1970, Helen married Frances “Tuffy” Qunell. She moved out to Tuffy’s farm outside of Geraldine, where they lived until he retired, and the couple moved into Geraldine in the early ’80s. He passed away in 1996, and on April 4, 2016, Helen entered the Missouri River Long-Term Care facility where they pampered and loved her like family.

She loved working on her flowers and yard and gabbing with her neighbors while doing it. Helen was a great baker, who was known and much beloved for her Christmas cookies and goodies. When her children were younger, she made Christmas pajamas for them every year. She also kept up with her many relatives via her Christmas cards every year, and she loved to receive them, as well. Helen was an active member of the Havre Eagles when she lived in Havre and in St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Geraldine for the many years she lived there. She was an avid reader, especially of her Bible, and her faith was a very important part of her daily life. She enjoyed playing Scrabble and Solitaire, and simply loved to attend her grandchildren’s activities.

Helen was preceded in death by her husbands, W.T. Burtchett and Frances Qunell; three sons, Ken, Don, and John Burtchett; daughter Marjorie Burtchett; grandsons, Joseph and Willie Burtchett; parents Michael Alexander and Lena Dilley; two sisters, Grace Kampf and Elsie Bangiola; and a special cousin Edna Kastner.

She is survived by her children James, Ruth, and Chris (Angela) Burtchett, all of Geraldine, Bob (Ruth) Burtchett of Helena, Sue Burtchett of San Diego, CA, and Steve (Tracie) Burtchett of Billings; 17 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; sister Marie Roll of Billings; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.


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