Helen Ann Linstad, age 92, of Appleton, Wisconsin, passed away on November 10, 2021. Born to Roy and Ester Baker in Marinette County in 1929, she was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend.
In 1950, Helen Ann married Howard Linstad in McAllister, Wisconsin. When she was young, she didn’t think she wanted to get married and have children. She had too many things to do and too many places to go, but when she met this kind, patient, gentle and generous man, she rethought her decision. Together they had 3 children: Gary, Penny and Heidi.
The simplest pleasures in life brought joy to Helen Ann. She enjoyed spending time in the kitchen, creating delicious meals for family and guests. She loved her family, playing games, traveling and spending time at their cabin on the Menominee River. She treasured her beautiful flower garden, especially her giant hibiscus.
Church was very important to Helen Ann. In 1960, St. James United Methodist Church was organized, and Helen Ann and Howard became charter members and soon the church became the center of their lives. She held various positions in the church, locally and in the district. She was District UMW President, Conference UMW President and Lay Leader at St. James. She became the 1st woman Lay Leader, 1st Board Chairperson, and 1st woman Council of Ministries President. As a certified Lay Leader in the United Methodist Church, Helen Ann received the distinguished Harry Denman Evangelism Award. She taught the Bible at Wisconsin School of Mission, and led worship and spoke at over 100 United Methodist Churches in Wisconsin. She exceled at leading groups of adults in workshops and Bible Study.
Helen Ann and Howard embraced their Scandinavian heritage and joined Sons of Norway in 1970. Helen Ann received the prestigious District Gold President Award for her tenure as President of the local chapter. They enjoyed learning the traditions and customs of Norway and making new friends. They also delighted in trips to Norway, meeting aunts, uncles and cousins. Together they enjoyed making Norwegian lefse as a special treat for the holidays.
Helen Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Howard Linstad. She is survived by her three children; Gary (Diane) Linstad, Appleton, Wisconsin, Penny (Robert) Schmidt, Austin, Texas, and Heidi (Frank) Gertz, DePere Wisconsin, six grandchildren; David (Jenny) Linstad, Sarah (Tom) Runyon, Neil (Johanna) Schmidt, Katy Gertz, Emily (Zach) Copeland, and Maggie Gertz, six great grandchildren; Kirsten, Frida, Austin, Wren, Claire and Lily.
Helen Ann came from a large family, being the eldest of 12 siblings. She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Esther Baker, sister Ethel Thulien, and brothers Alvin Baker, Duane Baker and Kenny Baker. Her surviving siblings are Howard (Ethel) Baker, Lois Judy, Luella Dorn, Dorothy (James) Dean, Rita Thews, Linda (Jerry) Johnson and Karen Baker. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Allan Thulien, and sisters-in-law Mary Linstad, Twyla Baker, and Linda Baker, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Helen Ann’s family wishes to thank the staff of Aspire Senior Living Community in Kimberly and the ThedaCare Hospice staff for their support, compassion, and care.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, January 8th, 2022, at 12:00 pm at St. James United Methodist Church, 100 West Capital Dr. with the Rev. Ben Morris officiating. The family will receive visitors before the service from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and during the reception following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. James United Methodist Church, a memorial is being established. For more information and to express condolences, please visit www.wichmannfuneralhomes.com.