The Mass of Christian Burial for Sylvester John "Vess" Heltemes, age 94 of Wadena, was celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 1, 2018 at St. Ann's Catholic Church in Wadena with Fr. Aaron Kuhn as celebrant. Sylvester John Heltemes, 94, died Saturday, May 26, 2018, at his home in Wadena.
He was born on September 24, 1923, to Joseph and Margaret (Wegscheid) Heltemes and lived in the Bluffton and Wadena area. He grew up with eight brothers and sisters. Sylvester proudly served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.
On October 14, 1947, Vess married Cecelia L. Budig at St. Ann's Church in Wadena, Minnesota. Their marriage was blessed with nine children. He had strong faith, devotion and love for his family. Everyone can agree that his silent mannerisms, patience and gentleness were a gift from God. He was a lifelong farmer enjoying all the seasons. Spring, the joy of planting; Summer, watching those labors grow; Fall, the anticipation of harvest; rest for the Winter to begin again. His carpentry skills and attention to detail produced both strong buildings and friendships. He enjoyed playing cards with the young and old, doing puzzles, bird watching, hunting with the boys (his last successful deer hunt at the young age of 92) and keeping bunnies and blackbirds out of "moms" garden using his sharp-shooter BB gun skills. Oh yah, and watching those Twins!! His grandchildren loved the visits to the farm, riding with grandpa on the tractor and experiencing his kindness to the barn cats and family dog. Sitting at the table (eating rhubarb, Andes mints or black licorice) he got their attention with a lift of his bushy eyebrows, twinkle in his blue eyes, wiggling of his ears or the movement of the biggest working hands they ever saw. That was Vess' quiet mischief.
Vess is survived by his wife of 70 years, his children John (Brenda) Heltemes, Lenore Aarness, Janice Heltemes, Bill (Marilou) Heltemes, Judy Heltemes, Jane (Jim) Merickel, Cindy Weiss, and Curt (Kim) Heltemes, 20 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; his sisters; Jeanette Budig, Julie (Jack) Josephson, and brother Rich (Coy) Heltemes; sister-in-law JoAnn Heltemes; son-in-law Bill Langen and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials will go to St. Ann Church, St. Cloud Diocesan TV Mass and Boy's Town.
Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Wadena, MN.
Arrangements with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services' Johnson-Schuller Chapel, Wadena, MN (www.SchullerFamilyFH.com)