Sherri Delores Helgaas, 65, of Crookston, MN, passed away in her home Monday morning, January 31, 2022, after a month-long battle with cancer.
Sherri was born in Crookston on May 8, 1956, the 6th of 8 children of the union of Walter and Delores (Gullekson) Smith. She grew up in a very loving home with her 4 sisters and 3 brothers where there was lots of activity and the occasional commotion. Sherri began her education at Ben Franklin Elementary School and 12 years later graduated from Central High School with the Class of 1974. She then started working for the J.R. Simplot Company where she would meet the love of her life, John Helgaas. In 1978 Sherri and John moved to Missoula, MT where their adventure began. They were united in marriage on June 20, 1981 in Missoula and over the next 22 years moved 12 times between Montana, North Dakota, and Idaho before coming back to Crookston in 1996. Sherri then began working for the Minnesota Department of Economic Security. She was later employed with the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council and at the time of retirement served as Transit Coordinator.
For several years she served on the Board of Directors for Crossroads Displaced Homemakers. Sherri’s caring heart led her to becoming a longtime supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and a life member of the Humane Society and ASPCA. When it came to animals Sherri would say, “we are their voice”.
Sherri will long be remembered for her awesome apple and rhubarb pies and as she put it, her “good home cooking”. She could spend hours watching the birds as they visited the feeders in her yard. Flowers remained Sherri’s deep, abiding, and lifelong passion. She was very proud of her beautiful flower beds and spent many a winter evening going through her flower books and putting different varieties on her wish list. Harvesting her seeds in the fall to share with family and friends brought her great joy. Sherri will be remembered as a special friend to those her knew her best. Celebrate her life!
Honored and blessed to have been part of Sherri’s life for well over 40 years was John, her beloved husband, partner, and best friend; her dear mother, Delores Smith Kurpius of Crookston, MN; 5 siblings: Connie Smith of Crookston, Monty (Sharon) Smith of Yuma, AZ, Janie Ricord and Tracy Smith of Crookston, and Scott Smith (Patrick Prochaska) of Minneapolis, MN; sister-in-law, Eileen Smith of Langford, SD; brother-in-law, Dennis LaFleur of Crookston; and many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends. Sherri was preceded in death by her father, Walter Smith; stepfather, Edward Kurpius; brother, Kelly Smith; sister, Cindy LaFleur; and 3 nephews: Jason Clemenson, Lance Smith, and Trent Smith. Treasured be the memory of Sherri Delores Helgaas.
The family will host a Celebration of Life honoring Sherri at 7:00pm, Thursday, July 7, 2022, at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with visitation for one hour before.
Online condolences may be given at www.stenshoelhouske.com