Cover photo for Lester M. Helgeson's Obituary
Lester M. Helgeson Profile Photo
1926 Lester 2013

Lester M. Helgeson

March 11, 1926 — April 27, 2013

Lester M. Helgeson, 87, of Stoddard died Saturday April 27, 2013 at his home. He was born March 11, 1926 to Leif and Mabel (Jensen) Helgeson in Jefferson Twsp. Vernon County. He was baptized at Bethany Lutheran Church in Esofea and confirmed at the Methodist Church in Stoddard. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1949 and spent most of the time in Guam. After 1 A½ years he was recalled into the Navy due to the Korean Conflict and served aboard the USS Severn, one of the largest fleet oilers as a machinist. He was discharged as Machinist Mate 1st Class in 1952. Lester worked at the Trane Co. and Altec in La Crosse as a tool and die machinist for many years, retiring in 1991. On August 6, 1960 he married Thelma Gronvold at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church. The couple lived all their married life in Stoddard.

Lester was a member of the Stoddard American Legion Post #315 where he served in many offices including commander. He remained active up until his death. He was also a member of the 40/8 of La Crosse, a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner, a charter member of the Stoddard Lions and a long time member of the Stoddard Village Board where he served as Village President for many years.

Survivors include his wife Thelma; 2 children David and Jayne (Tony) Laylan all of Stoddard; 3 grandchildren Nicholas, Brock and Heather Laylan; 3 sisters Juna Manske of Stoddard, Carol Gobel of Westby and Dorothy Hannum of Mankato, Minn. and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Harley in 1935.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday May 1, 2013 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in La Crosse with Rev. Bruce Iverson officiating. Burial will be in the Stoddard Cemetery with military honors by the Stoddard American Legion Post # 315. Friends may call on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley and at the church on Wednesday from 10 a.m. until service time.
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