Helen L. Nyquist of Howard Lake, died Sept. 7, 2018, after a valiant battle with cancer.
Helen was born June 6, 1935, in Olivia, to Caroline H. (Duehn) and Thomas E. Kirkpatrick, during the Great Depression. It was a particularly hot drought year in which her mother herded cattle along the nearby railroad track to supplement small feed rations. Despite the depression, Helen had a rich and full youth participating in 4-H, musicals and plays, piano and organ playing, and ruckus gatherings with relatives and neighbors. Of course, trips to the library and reading were always important to her.
As a 1956 graduate of Swedish Hospital School of Nursing, she worked as a nurse at Swedish Hospital, Buffalo Hospital, Meeker County Memorial Hospital, Cokato Hospital, and the office of Drs. Houtz and Johnson. She loved her time as a nurse, especially working in the preemie nursery and fishing pills out of elderly mens’ beards who asked her to marry them.
She met the love of her life, Daniel W. Nyquist, at a church ice skating party. It was love at first sight. They married Sept. 4, 1959, and had four children: Mark Allen, Caroline Ruth (who died in infancy), David Eric, and Naomi Ruth.
After Naomi was born, she retired from nursing and pursued many other adventures, from being a farm wife and giving talks on how to care for sick baby calves, to teaching piano and working at local libraries.
She also enjoyed cooking, baking, canning, gardening, writing, and reading quality children’s literature out loud.
She cherished her time attending music lessons and practicing with grandchildren. Above all, she was not afraid to speak her mind on topics of religion, politics, and the use of proper grammar, being especially fond of the Oxford comma.
Finally, she wrote in preparation for her obituary, “Whoever writes this up can say I loved the Lord and trusted Him as my righteousness. I had no righteousness of my own.”
Survivors include her husband, Dan, her children, Mark, David (and Mariana), and Naomi (and Patrick); her adoring grandchildren, Corrie, Christina, Clarissa, Estera, Oliver, Aunne, Ezra, and Eleanor; and many relatives, friends, neighbors, and pastors.
A simple graveside service took place Sept. 10 at Cokato Cemetery.