John Burness Helgeson October 1, 1911 – July 29, 2012 After a good life of almost 101 years, John Burness Helgeson of Lanigan, SK, (and formerly of LeRoy, SK), went “home” to spend eternity with his Creator. His death occurred at the age of 100 on Sunday, July 29, 2012, at his current residence, Central Parkland Lodge, Lanigan, with his family by his side. He had still been living at home with his beloved wife until just a few months ago when he was hospitalized and then moved into the Lodge. John was born on October 1, 1911, to John Sr. and Bergina (nee Bonderud) Helgeson at home on their farm in the Annaheim district. He was in his early childhood when the family relocated to LeRoy. John attended Bogend and Spring Grove schools then, in the prime of his youth, he began his lifelong-career of farming. Initially, he was employed by farmers in the Govan district. It was at one of those jobs that he met the love of his life, Judith Gilma Thoen of LeRoy. In 1935, John filed on a homestead ten miles south of Pleasantdale. On December 9, 1936, he and Judith were married. John and Judith began their life together at LeRoy. Over the next several years, John and Judith were blessed with five children, three daughters and two sons. In the fall of 1938, the Helgeson family moved to Pleasantdale and lived there until 1941. John enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and they moved to Vancouver, BC, where the family resided together for two-and-a-half years when John was transferred to England. At that time, Judith returned to LeRoy and, in December 1946, John received his discharge and returned home. He and Judith bought two quarters of land four miles south of LeRoy and farmed together there. John loved farming and some of his passions were their farm animals – especially the horses, puttering in his garage, and anything that was a Ford. He also loved chewing tobacco and, if Judith or the children were looking for him on the farm, all they had to do was follow the trail of tobacco on the ground or through the snow. In 1976, John and Judith retired into Lanigan. For many years, John was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. He and Judith both had a gift for hospitality, and anyone coming to their home was received with a warm welcome. John was also a true “people person” with a super sense of humor, so many joyful hours were spent visiting and playing cards which, of course, included a great deal of fun and much laughter. Indeed, he leaves behind innumerable fond memories for his family and friends to cherish. John will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by his wife, Judith Gilma (nee Thoen) Helgeson of Lanigan; their five children: Janet Helgeson of Lanigan; Audrey Wilde of Saskatoon, SK; Burnie Helgeson of Calgary, AB; Doreen Helgeson of Saskatoon; and Kevin (Karen) Helgeson of Slocan, BC; 13 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, and one great-great-great-grandchild; sister-in-law, Edna Grant of Winnipeg, MB; and by numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, John Sr. and Bergina (nee Bonderud) Helgeson; one sister, Myrtle (Thoen) Soha; one brother, Joseph Helgeson; four brothers-in-law: Andrew Thoen, Nick Soha, Don Grant, and Arthur Thoen; two sisters-in-law: Lillian Helgeson and Gladys Thoen; and by two sons-in-law: Herb Wilde and William McKeen. The Lutheran Funeral Service for John was held at Holy Rosary R.C. Church, LeRoy, on Saturday, August 4, 2012, at 1:00 p.m., led by Pastor Ron Bestvater. Others taking part were: Lana Jestin, Lynette Kusman and Jennifer Zentner, scripture readers; Doreen Helgeson, eulogist; Brian Thoen and Clifford Helgeson, ushers; Brittany Duerksen, memorial table attendant. Music ministry was provided by: pianist, Elaine Seifert; guitarist and soloist, Lavern Spratt; duet, Ella Braitenbach and Ursula Dac. Honorary pallbearers were “John’s grandchildren and all others who shared in his life”. Active pallbearers were Wayne Thoen, Raymond Thoen, Ken Helgeson, Martin Wilde, Kurt Neis, and Cameron Duerksen. Interment followed at LeRoy Public Cemetery, LeRoy. Memorial donations may be directed to Central Parkland Lodge. Schuler-Lefebvre Funeral Chapel, Humboldt, SK.