Helene Louise Salemink of Nichols, Iowa, died peacefully in her home on Dec. 10, 2020. She was 89.
A private celebration of life services was held at St. Mary’s Church in Nichols on Wednesday, Dec. 16, with Father Michael Spiekermeier officiating. Interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Nichols. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Nichols First Responders.
Helene was born in Nichols, Iowa, on May 28, 1931, to David and Lottie (DeVault) Porter. She attended Lacey School in rural Nichols and graduated from Nichols High School.
Helene was united in marriage with Jack Salemink in Nichols on Oct. 24, 1950. They lived in Columbus Junction before settling in Nichols, where they farmed and raised livestock.
Helene was a bus driver for West Liberty Schools for 38 years. She was a member of St. Mary’s Parish in Nichols and the St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Society.
Helene enjoyed spending time with her family, sewing, and gardening. She loved her patch of strawberries, which she made into homemade jam every year for the whole family. Helene enjoyed baking and was known for her kolaches at holidays. She and Jack loved dancing — especially polkas — as well as traveling and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones.
She is survived by a a son, Steve (Debbi) Salemink of Nichols, as well as four daughters including Rhonda (Dane) Meredith of Iowa City, Regina (Dave) Schantz of Washington, Iowa; Reeta (Mike Burkey) Salemink of Wilton, Iowa; and Renetta (Michael) Burlage of Nichols. Also urviving are nine grandchildren: Grant Staley, Brooke (Staley) Boren, Anne Staley, James Salemink, Austin Schantz, Kayla (Schantz) Choate, Allison (Schantz) Widrowicz, Sara Burlage, and Luke Burlage as well as 10 great-grandchildren, a brother, James (Geri) Porter of Spokane, Washington; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack, in 2019; her parents; five brothers Ardell Ulch, Lee Ulch, Raymond Porter, Ronald Porter, and Warren Porter; and two sisters Jane (Porter) Simpson and Jeanne (Porter) Maher.