Helen Marie (Swanson) Reutlinger

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 8:52 pm

Helen Marie (Swanson) Reutlinger, 90, of Decorah, formerly of Cresco, died Sunday,  July 17, 2016, at Barthell Eastern Star Home  in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m., Friday, July 22, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Cresco, with Pastor Jeff Hansen officiating. Burial is in New Oregon Cemetery, Cresco. Visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m. before the service at the church. The Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home, 404 N Elm Street Cresco, is assisting the family.

Helen was born Sept. 1, 1925, in Vernon Center, Minn., to Ervin and Lucille (Hearrold) Swanson. She attended school in Vernon Center and Adams, Minn. She started working as a nurse aide at St. Olaf Hospital in Austin, Minn. She attended practical nursing school in Minneapolis, Minn. and graduated in June, 1945. She worked at hospitals in Port Angeles, Wash., Cresco and Austin, Minn. She returned to Cresco in 1949 to help her parents run a nursing home. Helen met Gerald Reutlinger and they were married June 6, 1954, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church, Cresco. Helen and Gerald had one son, David. In 1962 Helen and Gerald bought the nursing home from her parents, and it became known as Reutlinger Nursing Home. In 1974, they built the Cresco Care Center. Helen and Gerald operated the care center until they sold the business  in 1981. After retirement, they enjoyed traveling and spent winters in Apache Junction, Ariz. After Gerald’s death in 1986, Helen spent several more winters in Ariz. and enjoyed traveling with friends from Cresco. Helen’s granddaughters were her pride and joy. She was always present to cheer them on at their sporting events and activities. Her great-grandchildren were the light of her life and brought her much joy. She enjoyed making quilts and playing cards. Helen was a long time member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cresco. She was a 50-plus year member of the Order of Eastern Star. In Nov., 2010, Helen became a resident of the Barthell Eastern Star Home.

Helen is survived by her son, David (Sherri) Reutlinger of Decorah; granddaughters Megan (Jesse) Lyon of Decorah; Laura Reutlinger of Bemidji, Minn.; two great-grandchildren, Eli and Ada Lyon; a brother, Gene Swanson of Hayward, Wis. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Gerald; parents Ervin and Lucille Swanson; step-father, Uffa Jensen; brother, Robert Swanson and his wife, Betty; nephew, Lynn Swanson; and sister-in-law, Kathy Swanson.

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