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Helen Niemiec

Helen Niemiec Helen Niemiec

Helen S. Niemiec, 92, Stanley, formerly of Thorp, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at The Homeplace in Stanley. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., on Thursday, Oct. 29, at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church in Thorp. Rev. Baskaran Sandhiyagu will officiate, and burial will follow in New St. Hedwig’s Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Kenneth Niemiec, Ronald Niemiec, Randy Niemiec, Eric Niemiec, Bill Koehler, Scott Oelhafen, and Jeff Anderson. Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 10 a.m. until time of service.

Helen Sophia Abramczak was born on June 8, 1928, in Hamtramck, Mich., the daughter of John and Magdalena (nee Lato) Abramczak. When she was 3 years old, her parents moved from Michigan to a farm in the town of Butler, rural Thorp. Helen attended Eastside School until her family moved to the town of Reseburg, where she attended Goff State Graded School, later graduating from Thorp High School in 1946. After graduation, Helen moved to Chicago and began working for Western Electric. After two years, she met the love of her life, Ralph J. Niemiec, and they were united in marriage at St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church in Thorp on May 7, 1949. They lived in Chicago where she continued working for Western Electric and then later at Spiegel’s. In 1974, they moved to Rock Dam, rural Willard. Helen worked at ITT in Thorp until its closing in the 1980s and loved working there, making many new friends. They resided at Rock Dam until moving to Marshfield in 1983. They moved back to Rock Dam in 1988 and lived there until moving into Thorp in 2004. Helen had many interests, but especially enjoyed being outdoors, gardening, raising flowers, bird watching, and picking pussy willows and berries. She also enjoyed cooking, baking, crocheting, listening to polka music, playing a variety of card games with her children and grandchildren, an occasional casino trip, playing the 1- and 5-cent slots, and attending Ralph’s Coast Guard reunions. But her pride and joy were her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a member of St. Bernard-St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church, its PCCW, and was also a member of the Thorp American Legion Auxiliary.

Helen is survived by six children: Kenneth (Sue) of Oak Lawn, Ill., Janice (Bill) Koehler of Tinley Park, Ill., Debra (Scott) Oelhafen of New Lenox, Ill., Ronald of Orland Park, Ill., Denise Stroz of Chicago Ridge, Ill., and Karen (Jeff) Anderson of Wisconsin Rapids; 15 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; one son-in-law: Rick Jura of Orland Park, Ill.; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ralph, on Sept. 8, 2007; her daughter, Darlene Jura, on March 31, 1984; her son-in-law, John Stroz, on Feb. 5, 2019; and her brother, Chester Abramczak, on Sept. 23, 1979.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Thorp Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.