Helen F. Peterson BowanIssue Date: June 3, 2020
Helen Frances (Litts) Peterson Bowan, age 92, passed away peacefully May 29, 2020. She was the 7th of 13 children born to George and Meta (DeBuhr) Litts on January 23, 1928 in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Helen was born in a stable in Menekaunee. As a child, she loved to roller skate and make up silly apple tree songs with her best friend. She grew up poor and experienced many hardships throughout her life, but always kept going and making the best of things.
Helen was an exceptional student, earned her high school diploma as an adult and worked many years as a waitress. She raised six children as a single mom and continued to be there for them throughout her life. Her love also extended to many foster children. In her later years, she enjoyed traveling nationally and internationally and also spent many fun winters in Florida with her husband Fran.
All who loved her will never forget her tenacity, wit, wisdom, charm, beauty, intelligence, resilience and compassion. She was sweet with a side of zest! She was a helper and a caregiver. She loved dolls and bubbles and pansies and bright, flashy things, and, of course, anything pretty and pink.
Mom had a vivacious and fun personality and always made people around her laugh. She made friends everywhere she went. If you ever wanted to make a gathering fun, you invited Helen. She had a gift for making sure everyone was included and enjoying themselves. Her friends and loving caregivers at the Renaissance delighted in her mischief and her compassion.
Most of all, Mom loved her family. She treasured her six children and gladly sacrificed so much for them. She believed in them and instilled in them strong values that have served them well. When they got older, they knew they could do anything and live through anything.
She especially loved her role as Grandma. Nothing made her smile more brightly than having a grandbaby on her lap. She sewed baby blankets for her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. As they grew, she loved entertaining them and being silly with them. As adults, her grandchildren appreciated her even more as they realized what an incredible grandmother she was. They enjoyed her friendship, stories, and delightful giggles. Her great-grandchildren have also been blessed by loving and being loved by her.
Helen was preceded in death by her loving husband, Francis; previous husbands, John Peterson and Galen Clewley; her mother and father, George and Meta Litts; two sisters, Grace and Alice, four brothers, Carl, Eddie, Johnnie and Bobby Gene; a daughter, Patsy Jo; great-granddaughter, Millea Jean and her beloved dog, Daisy Mae.
She is survived by her two brothers, George Litts and Fred (Janyce) Litts; four sisters, Esther (Milton) Johnson, Pearl Fort, Edna Herbst and Irene Price; her six children, Barbara Screnock, Frances (Allen) Yaeger, Georgette (Glen) Zellner, Nellie (Gene) Beland, Jeffrey (Pam) Peterson and Jim (LeAnn) Peterson; 15 grandchildren, Francine, Amy, Jenny, Sarah, Jeffrey, Scout, Eric, Ethan, Laura, Tracy, Kaylie, John, David, JJ and Brooke; 39 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces. All of these she loved and touched deeply.
A Celebration of Helen's Life will be held at Calvary Church, W1498 Highway 64 in Marinette, WI on Thursday, June 4, 2020 with visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a Memorial Service at 11:00 a.m. A light luncheon will follow. Memorial donations can be made to the Salvation Army or Calvary Church. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.hansenonionmartell.com Hansen Onion Martell Funeral Home of Marinette is assisting the family.
Helen's family is very grateful for all the wonderful caregivers and staff at Renaissance Assisted Living, her special caregivers, Barb, Kirby, Becky and Diana, the staff of Aurora BayCare, her Hospice teams, Pastor Tim Hawthorne and Jim Martell.
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