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Helen Joyce Bourgeois

Helen Joyce Bourgeois, age 76, of Dassel, died Thursday, May 22, 2008, in Litchfield.

She was born June 9, 1931, in Elmdale Township, Morrison County, Minn., the daughter of Vincent and Martha (Barthel) VonDrasek. She grew up in the Elmdale Township area and graduated from Upsala High School in 1950.

After graduating from high school, Helen moved to St. Paul, where she was employed at Montgomery Ward from 1950 until 1954.

Helen was united in marriage to Francis Leon Bourgeois May 25, 1954, at the Our Lady of Lords Catholic Church in Little Falls. The couple made their home in St. Paul until 1958, when they moved to Fridley.

In 1987, they moved to Dassel and made their home on the shores of Long Lake, where Helen has made her home since.

Helen enjoyed going to casinos, playing bingo and computer games and spending time in her garden, taking care of the flowers and vegetables that she grew.

But most of all, she enjoyed spending time visiting with family and friends. Her family fondly recalls the times they spent together for the holidays and the many times that they got together.

Helen is survived by her children, Michael (Darla) Bourgeois of Blaine, Donna Smith of Reno, Nev., JoAnne (James) Felegy of Kimball, Gerald Bourgeois of Fridley, Roger (Celeste) Bourgeois of Ham Lake, Bruce Bourgeois of Otsego, Steve Bourgeois of Zimmerman, Wayne (Patricia) Bourgeois of Mounds View, David Bourgeois of Otsego, and Keith Bourgeois of Dassel; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Francis Dec. 16, 1995; her parents; and her grandparents.

A Mass of Christian Burial took place Thursday, May 29 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin with Father Pat Casey officiating. Organist was Florine Osness, song leader was Don LaBounty, and the soloist was Jessica Felegy. Interment was at the church cemetery.

Visitation was Wednesday, May 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, with a parish prayer service at 7:30 p.m., and continued Thursday one hour prior to the service at the church.

Casketbearers were Helen’s grandchildren Darryn Bourgeois, Shawn Bourgeois, Joshua Julick, Matthew Felegy, Travis Smith, and Tyler Bourgeois.

Arrangements were by the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel.