BELLEVILLE, ILL. / MADISON-Helen M. Niesen, age 82, passed away on Monday, April 15, 2013 at the Dammert Geriatric Center at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.

She was born on Oct. 14, 1930, in Madison, the daughter of Benedict and Bernice (Lindsley) Schumacher. She married Henry Niesen on May 7, 1960, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

Helen believed in living life as fully as possible. At age 61, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Edgewood College in Religious Studies. She was an avid Cubs fan, enjoyed reading The Cat Who mystery series, and aspired to write children’s stories and historical fiction. In parish life, she was a member and president of the St. Ann’s Society, a member of the Social Action Commission, and enjoyed volunteering at Immaculate Heart of Mary School while her children were attending. Additionally, she savored time with her family and opportunities to travel.

Helen is survived by sons, Major (ret.) Paul G. (Julie) Niesen of Fairview Heights, Ill. and John H. Niesen of Madison; daughters, Mary Kay (Michael) Pekar of Lamberton, Minn., Elizabeth Ann (Fred) List of Greenville, S.C., and Anne Marie (Ray) List of Stoddard; and 13 grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband; son, Martin; her parents; brothers, Earl, James, Hugh, and John; and sisters, Barbara and Joan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. DENNIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 505 Dempsey Road, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2013, with Father Gary Wankerl presiding. Burial will be at Sunset Memory Gardens. Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2013. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of Southern Illinois, 305 S. Illinois, Belleville, IL 62222.

Visitation:
Visitation will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

Service:
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. DENNIS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 505 Dempsey Road, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 19, 2013, with Father Gary Wankerl presiding.