Helen Sharkey, 88

Helen Carroll Sharkey passed away on Oct.31, 2019 in Gillette, Wyo. Visitation with be on Friday, Nov. 8 from 5 – 6 p.m. for family. Public visitation will be from 6 – 7 pm. with vigil service beginning at 7 p.m., at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Funeral services will be held at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 10:30 a.m. Committal services will follow at Winner Cemetery, in Winner. A gathering of friends, neighbors, and relatives will be held at St. Mary’s Hall with a meal.

Helen was born on a farm south of Mission, on Jan. 30, 1931. Helen is the daughter of Frank and Mary (Sheehan) Carroll. She grew up in a family of nine children. She attended rural school and graduated from St. Francis School, and at the age of 16, she received the valedictorian award.

After graduation, she began her career teaching at Midway Rural School, where she taught her younger brothers and sisters. Helen then attended Black Hills State University.

Helen met the love of her life, Michael James Sharkey, at a dance in Valentine, NE, and they were married on April 28, 1951. They were married five days prior to his deployment to serve our country in the Korean War. Helen continued her teaching career in a one-room classroom in rural school. She was loved and admired by her students and families.

She also continued summer college courses and later graduated from Southern State College at Springfield, SD. With the loving union of Michael and Helen, six children were born. Helen was an always-loving wife, mother, and active in the duties and responsibilities of the farm/ranch operations. She continued her teaching career for 30 plus years.

Helen was active in church activities and always present in her children’s activities, especially sports. Nonetheless, she supported Michael’s coaching their sons and others in their love for boxing. Helen continued her support of Winner Quarterback Club, VFW, and Catholic Daughters in Winner, SD.

Helen and Michael resumed their cattle operation after their children were raised. Helen would be recommended by many people, for cooking, especially her caramel rolls. Family and friends enjoyed visiting the ranch/farm, raising horses, branding cattle, playing cards, going to dances, and hunting deer and pheasants.

Family always woke up to the smell of Helen making breakfast. She always made sure everyone felt at home.

Michael and Helen retired from the cattle operation due to Michaels failing health. Subsequently, they moved to Pierre, in order to best support Michael. Michael passed away in July of 2008. Helen later moved to Gillette, Wyo, for health reasons, where she lived at the Legacy Retirement Home.

Prior to that, Michelle, Gary, and Helen were able to enjoy a 10-day Catholic tour of Italy. Helen was so loved by the staff at the Legacy. She did a lot of cheerful singing and assisted her roommate Phyllis and others, while residing there. She was a loving person, caregiver, and uplifted everyone around her. Helen was a Christian woman, praying and always attending church activities.

She is preceded in death by Michael (husband), Leo (son), Mindy (granddaughter), her parents, and all of her sisters and brothers.

Helen is survived by Gary, Gillette, WY, Pat (Mary Kay), Ft. Dodge, Iowa, Terry (Deb), Spearfish, SD, Michelle (Rapid City, SD), Jack (Paula) Lincoln, NE. Helen is also loved and cherished by her 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home in Custer, SD.

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