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Helen Medaris

July 19, 1920-June 28, 2008

Helen Emelia Medaris, 87, of Park Rapids, died Saturday, June 28, 2008 at the Veteran's Administration Hospital Palliative Care Unit in Fargo, after being under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley and VA Home-based primary care.

Helen E. Pearson was born to Nels and Gertrude (Anderson) Pearson on July 19, 1920 in Minneapolis. Her mother died when Helen was 6 years old, and later on, her father married Helen Norman. Because of the nature of her father's job in the construction industry, Helen lived and attended schools in many cities in the Midwest, Michigan, and on the east coast.

Helen graduated from West High school in Minneapolis in 1938. She then attended the Holland School of Business in Holland, Mich., graduating in 1940. She subsequently worked for the Holland Furnace Company. Later, she served in the WAVES during World War II, and was stationed in Washington D.C. in Naval Intelligence. While waiting to be called into the service, she helped to entertain the returning troops through the USO.

Following her discharge from the Navy, Helen returned to Minneapolis, where she worked for Metalware, Paramount Pictures, and various temporary services. On Dec. 20, 1946 she married Robert H. Medaris in Minneapolis. In 1947 they moved to Devils Lake, N.D., where she worked for F.W. Woolworth's. In 1948 they moved to Muskegon, Mich., and in 1949 moved back to Minneapolis, where Helen worked at the Grain Belt Brewery as well as in temporary services. In 1964 they moved to Park Rapids, where they purchased a funeral home and ambulance service.

Helen worked with her husband in the Medaris Funeral Home in Park Rapids until their retirement in 1987. Helen was a member of the Calvary Lutheran Church Reading Circle as well as the Itasca Chapter No. 70 of the Eastern Star.

Surviving Helen are her husband, Robert H. Medaris of Park Rapids; one daughter, Valerie L. Medaris of Detroit Lakes; one son-in-law, Richard B. Fleming of Detroit Lakes; one son, David J. (Nancy) Medaris,of Sheperdstown, W.Va.; seven grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were her son, Robert L. Medaris; daughter, Diane L. Medaris; parents, Nels and Gertrude Pearson; and sister, Ruth Ronning.

Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, July 1, at the West-Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes, with an Eastern Star service at 6 p.m.

Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 2, at Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, with the Ref. Ken Nyhusmoen officiating. Burial is set for 2 p.m. Thursday, July 3, at Roselawn Cemetery in Roseville, Minn.

West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes is providing services to the family.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences are invited to use the funeral home's online messages of sympathy section at