Whimsical 09

Helen Saraphine Richards

September 20, 2019

     Helen Saraphine Richards, age 96, of Sparta, passed away, Friday, September 20, 2019, at Rolling Hills Rehabilitation Center in Sparta. 

     She was born April 6, 1923, to Oscar John and Mary Catherine (née, Herricks) Mack at home on their rented farm near Summit Ridge.

     Helen was named after her grandmothers, as was common in those days, Saraphine (née, Pauly/Mrs. Joseph) Mack, and Helena (née, Klinkner/Mrs. Bernard) Herricks. 

     When she was about three years old, her parents bought a farm in the south east corner of Ridgeville Township, between Wilton and Norwalk, where she grew up. Helen attended the Tunnel Joint One-Room School and was a 1941 graduate of Wilton High School. She then settled in Sparta where she worked a variety of jobs while raising her four children. Helen will most be remembered for working 22 years at Schultz Brothers Dime Store that closed in 1988, on her 65th birthday. She then worked part time at Ernie’s Fairway Grocery Store and drove for the Department of Aging. 

     Helen was a faithful member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sparta; and was currently a member of both the Homemaker’s, for over 50 years and a Sparta Garden Club. She loved flowers, watching birds by her front window, and working crossword puzzles.

     Survivors include her daughter, Barb of Sparta; two sons, Tom of Madison and Dave of Sparta; sister, Ann Marie Kaiser of Beaver Dam, WI.; sister-in-law, Gladys Mack of Minneapolis, MN; six grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

     Helen was preceded in death by her son, Bob (aka, “Sluggo”); her brother, Joseph Mack; brother-in-law, James Kaiser; and all of the Richards’ in-laws.

     A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, September 26, 2019, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Sparta. Father Eric Berns will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m.,  until the time of mass, Thursday, at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the T.V. Masses of La Crosse or the St. Patrick’s Catholic School in Sparta. 

     Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.schanhoferfh.com

     The family would like to thank the staff of Rolling Hills for the wonderful care during Helen’s residence there.  

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