(9-25-13) Helen Rita Bautch, 95, of Strum, died Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at Grand View Care Center, Blair.
Helen was born on February 22, 1918 on a farm near Independence, Wis. Her parents were Rose Kuka and Peter Gierok. She attended school in Independence and Whitehall. In 1937, she graduated from Whitehall High School.
After graduating, she worked for a doctor since she was interested in a nursing career. In 1938, she decided to attend Buffalo County Teachers' College where she obtained her two-year teaching degree. Years later, she attended UW Eau Claire and received her B.S. in Elementary Education.
In 1940, Helen married the love of her life and childhood sweetheart, Tony Bautch. Together they farmed in rural Independence and in 1943 bought a larger farm in Chimney Rock, 10 miles north of Independence. They remained there farming for over 50 years.
Helen worked on the farm with her husband and in 1944 began her career as an elementary teacher. Her first job was teaching grades 1-8 in Brick School just a mile from their farm. Over her 35-year career, she taught in several rural schools including Elk Creek, Bennett Valley, Plainview, Jensen and Tracy Valley. She completed 35 years in education; the last 20 teaching 1st graders in the Strum Grade School.
Those many years, Helen milked cows, gardened and helped with various farm chores. In addition, she taught her students and was a great homemaker and mother.
Helen and Tony are survived by three children, Jane (Bill) Maule of Strum, Peter (special friend, Romelle) Bautch of Strum and Rosemarie Cline of Indianapolis, Ind. She is survived by six grandchildren, Kim (Paul) Bowman, Debra (Mark) Marsolek, Jennifer (Thomas) Bain, Anthony (Sarah) Cline, Jeffrey Peter Bautch and Christopher Mish and twelve great-grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister, Irene Porter and two nephews, Peter Gierok and Ford Porter lll.
Preceding Helen in death, were her husband Tony in 2000, her parents, Rose and Peter Gierok, her grandson, Michael Reidt, her brother Adolph Gierok and two sons-in-law, LeRoy Reidt and Larry Cline.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, September 27, 2013 at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Independence, with Very Rev. Woodrow H. Pace officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church on Friday.
The children of Helen wish to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at Gundersen Tri-County Care Center and Grandview Care Center for the excellent care and concern given to our mom over the past years.
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