Helen V. (Jackson) Lepola of Watton, MI passed away July 15, 2017 at UP Health System Marquette after a lengthy illness. She went peacefully surrounded by her family. She was born to the late Einar and Elsie Impi (Manninen) Jackson on October 26, 1936 in Covington, MI. Helen attended the Covington Township and L’Anse High School graduating in 1954, and had resided in Covington Watton area her whole life. Helen married James (Jim) Lepola in Covington on December 18, 1954.
She was a lifetime member of the Covington Bethany Lutheran Church having served as their Treasurer for almost 30 years. Bethany Ladies Aid where she was very involved with their rummage and bake sales, was Treasurer of the Covington-Trout Creek Lutheran Parish until they disbanded, a member and past Treasurer of the Covington Historical Society. Member of Baragaland Senior Citizens, S.E.R.A. Chapter 16 and U. P. League Finnish-American Society.
She had been employed by the Watton Co-op stores in Covington and Watton, Leemons Department Store in L’Anse, and the late Charles Hitselberger Baraga County Prosecuting attorney and the Michigan Department of Social Services where she retired as the Assistance Payment Supervisor in January of 1995.
Helen was proud of her Finnish heritage having traveled to Finland 3 times, attended Finn Fests and Grand Finn Fests in various cities in the U. S. and Canada, Suomi Kutsuu dances and corresponding with relatives in Finland via the internet and telephone besides letter writing.
Her interests included baking (Danish rolls), feeding, watching, birds year-round, flowers, reading and word puzzles. Helen enjoyed helping others, especially children and elderly. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren were a special joy to her. With her love of music, she attended not only local concerts and festivals but made many new friends on her trips to Branson, MO.
Survivors are: husband Jim of Watton; daughter Lynn Lepola of Baraga; son-in-law John Saarela of Champion, MI; 2 grandchildren, Keri LeClaire of Pelkie, MI and Jim LeClaire of Baraga; 8 great grandchildren, Austin, Skylar, Abbi, Tyler, Zack, Payton, Hunter, and Khloe; uncle Clarence Manninen of Champion; brother-in-law Glenn Getzloff of Wilson, MI; sisters-in-law, LaVerne Manz of Crivitz, WI, Nancy Perry of Covington, Gloria Takala of Watton, Luella (Wilbert) Teikari of Bruce Crossing, MI, Alice (Keith) Basto of Lake Linden, Jeanette Lepola of Watton; also several nieces, nephews, cousins and 10 God children.
Preceding her in death by: son James Jr., January 3, 1980; daughter Julie Saarela, June 3, 2011; parents; step father Art Keranen; sister Ruth (Jackson) Getzloff; brothers, John and Arvo Jackson; sisters-in-law, Marie Jackson and Loretta Knapp; brothers-in-law Melvin Lepola, William Takala, and Kenneth Manz.
Helen was loved by many and her kindness and generosity will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 21st at 12 noon at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Covington with visitation one hour prior to the service. Pastor Richard Little, Pastor Peter Suomela, and Pastor Michael Carriere will officiate. Burial will be in the Covington Cemetery. The Bethany Church Ladies will host a luncheon following the service in the church hall. The Jacobson Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Friends may sign Helen’s guest book or send condolences at www.jacobsonfuneralhome.com .