The only child of Finnish immigrants Charles and Hilma Maki Ukkonen, Helen was born March 23, 1918, in Two Harbors and passed away July 2, 2015, living the entirety of her 97 years in the family home on South Ave.
After graduating Two Harbors High School, Helen studied bookkeeping at Duluth Business College. She was employed at the T.H. Lumberyard for a time until a kind, handsome customer named John Emery Carlstrom stole her heart and whisked her away into 63 years of marriage before his passing in 2010. While raising two young children mom somehow had time and energy remaining to balance impeccable accounting ledgers for two successful family businesses; Emery’s plastering business and the LauraLee Department Store. She was a devoted wife and mother, making sure the needs of her family were met before her own.
She was a longterm, dedicated member of the Order of Eastern Star, Emera Chapter #160, earning her 50 year pin in 2014. The Station of “Electa” was hers alone for 40 of those years!
Mom very much enjoyed traveling, both near and far, along with arts and crafts having created many heirloom pieces featuring traditional Scandinavian rosemaling. Also putting a wide grin on her face was the occasional road trip to visit those sneaky One Arm Bandits!
She developed a love for walking during her golden years, becoming known throughout town as a member of “the South Avenue Walkers.” Only one thing kept these dedicated ladies away from their daily 2 miles and that was an air temperature below zero! She was one hard-working tough cookie - following in her beloved mother’s footsteps. *Sisu*
Helen is survived by her daughter, Laura Kay Carlstrom of Houston, TX, son Lee Emery Carlstrom (Bonnie) of Sandy UT, and niece, Susie Schiller of Reno, NV. She was preceded in death by her parents; her loving and loyal husband, Emery; sister-in-law, Ruth (Tootsie) Schiller and nephew, James Schiller.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Bonnie Timo, Larry Bergman and Jane Soukop, for their many years of TLC; and also to Roberta Nurmi, for decades and decades (and decades) of Friday morning shampoo sets!
A memorial service will be held Thursday, August 13th at 2pm at the Masonic Lodge, 631 2nd Ave, Two Harbors. Lunch will be served downstairs immediately afterward.
*siella on saunat taivaassa!*