To view a recording of Helen's service, please click on the following link: View Funeral Webcast
HELEN IRENE GORTER was born on October 19, 1927 to John and Mary (Price) Meyer on a farm near Jasper, MN. Her family moved to Montana for job possibilities when she was an infant. Following the death of her father, her mother moved back to Ihlen, MN with her five children when Helen was two years old. Helen had many fond memories of growing up in Ihlen including ice-skating on the Split Rock Creek. At the age of 12, her family (plus the house) moved to Pipestone, MN where she graduated from Pipestone High School. She fondly remembers working for Northern States Power in Pipestone, and later in Sioux Falls, SD. In 1953 she married Lawrence Gorter and they moved to a farm near Luverne, MN. In 1966, they moved to a farm near Pipestone, MN where they lived until their retirement in 1989. In 1993, her beloved Lawrence was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Helen was a pillar of strength in the following 12 years until his death in 2005. Helen moved to Ridgeview Estates Senior Housing in 2010, and entered Bethany Meadows in 2017 where she died on June 8, 2021 at the age of 93 years, seven months, and 20 days.
Helen talked about being a "city girl" but loved learning about life on the farm. Helen embraced her role as a farmer's wife and Mom, working alongside her husband raising their 5 children. She was an avid seamstress, sewing most of the clothing for her family, and later making quilts. Each of her children, and grandchildren have a crocheted afghan and a hand-stitched quilt that was made especially for them. She was known for her baking - especially her home-made buns and sour cream raisin pie which was a hit at all the church potlucks. They spent many hours playing cards and games with friends and family, and loved traveling in their retirement years. Helen was a member of the Christian Reformed Church in Pipestone where she was a Calvinette leader and a faithful member of Dorcas Ladies Aide.
During the winter months, Helen and Lawrence spent 11 years traveling to Arizona where they made cherished friends. In later years, Helen looked forward to "Gorter Mondays" when she got together with her in-laws for lunch and cards; she felt truly blessed to be part of the Gorter family.
She is lovingly remembered by five children, Kathy (Barry) Goodwin of Arlington, SD; Rick (Kim) Gorter of Dayton, MN; Lori (Dave) Heilman of Sioux Falls, SD; Jim (Jan) Gorter of Egan, SD ; and Don (Sonja) Gorter of Shakopee, MN; five grandsons; seven granddaughters; 15 great-grandchildren; in-laws, Clarence and Dee Gorter of Sioux Falls, SD, Jerry and Bonnie Gorter of Sioux Falls, SD, and Kathy Gorter of Midland Park, NJ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence; an infant son, David; a granddaughter, Tina Heilman; and several brothers, sisters and in-laws.