Helen D. Genskow, June 25, 1929 - January 29, 2018

Helen D. Genskow
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Helen Dorothy Nauman Genskow passed away at her home in Eau Claire, WI, on January 29, 2018.

She was born on June 25, 1929, at Berwyn, IL, to Robert H. and Mildred Lender Nauman.  She attended school in Western Springs where she was active in Girl Scouts and the Congregational Church youth activities, graduating from Lyons Township High School in 1946.

After a year at Morton Junior College in Cicero, IL, she studied Home Economics Education at Iowa State College (now Iowa State University), graduating in June 1950.  She was a member of Delta Zeta sorority and was tapped for two honoraries, Phi Upsilon Omicron (home economics) and Mortar Board which at that time was an all-college women’s honorary recognizing scholarship, leadership, and service.

Also in June 1950, she married Roy Donald Genskow of Shorewood, WI, an Iowa State College Animal Science graduate.  They taught high school home economics and vocational agriculture in Wilton, IA, for two years before starting their own dairy farming operation near Oxford, IA.  Helen supervised a dormitory dining hall at the University of Iowa for that year before they moved their farming operation to her father’s farm near Millbrook, IL.  They farmed there for seven years and another six years nearby at Newark where she resumed her teaching career at Newark Community High School.

From 1965 to 1969, Helen taught home economics in Farmer City, IL, while her husband completed a Ph. D. in Dairy Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana.

Her volunteer activities included teaching Sunday School, leading Brownie Girl Scouts, and teaching Vacation Bible School. She was also hired to do judging for county 4-H fairs.

After moving to Milwaukee in 1969, Helen earned a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, taught fabrics to fashion merchandising students at the Patricia Stevens Career College, and taught a senior citizens’ sewing class at MATC.

She accompanied her husband on many Canadian canoe trips with their children, many nieces and nephews, and advanced biology students from Roy’s classes at Shorewood High School.  They enjoyed taking grandchildren to visit national parks and hosting them at their family cabin on the Mondeaux Flowage near Medford, WI.

After retirement, they moved north from Whitefish Bay to the Brown Deer area, later to Grafton, and finally to Eau Claire, WI.  They traveled to Europe a number of times pursuing genealogical research. They also made trips to South America, Australia, Canada, the Holy Land, and the South Pacific.

Helen is survived by her children, Ruth (David) Talcott, John (Deborah) Genskow, and Sue Mayer; grandchildren, Jeffrey (Catherine) Mayer, Kristin (John) Van de Water, Laura and Anna Talcott, Matthew and Sarah Genskow; great-grandchildren, Zachary, Bethany, Emily, and Kimberly Van de Water; sister, Roberta Nauman Lucey.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Roy; her parents; sister, Janet Nauman Hurst, brothers-in-law, Roy Hurst and Jerome Lucey.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Helen’s name to the First Congregational Church’s Wheels of Welcome Program or the American Cancer Society.

The Family wishes to thank Oakwood Hills Retirement Living, Recover Care, and St. Croix Hospice for their care of Helen during her final illness.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, February 12, 2018, at 11:00 am at First Congregational UCC, 310 Broadway St., Eau Claire, WI 54703 with The Rev. Dr. Mark X. Pirazzini officiating.  Memorial visitation will take place at the church on Monday, February 12, 2018, from 10 am until the time of service. Private inurnment will be at Graceland Cemetery in Milwaukee at a later date.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com.

Hulke Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Marion Genskow Griswold February 10, 2018

    I first met Helen in 1949 when Roy drove me to Ames during Spring break to meet his fiancée and to see the campus. I liked Helenfrom the moment I saw her. She has been my friend ever since. Last year, she sent me a long, long list of things we've done together. So many memories!

    When her husband died, Mary Baker Eddy said that she would mourn his loss, but not his death. Death is merely passing. Death is swallowed up in victory!

    I mourn losing Helen.

    Aunt Marion

  2. Jim and Darlene Esser February 8, 2018

    We are sorry to hear of Helen passing we have your family in our prays. Will miss the visits we had with her at the Mondeaux.

  3. Mike Ebel February 6, 2018

    Very sorry to here of Helen passing. I understand how difficult this can be. She will be missed, always had kind
    words for me. Mary will be happy to see her in heaven,
    she thought a lot of her.

  4. Teri and Sam Christen February 5, 2018

    Sending thoughts and prayers to your family. Helen was such a warm and friendly woman. She will be missed.

  5. Dan and Lori Meyer February 5, 2018

    We are so sorry to hear of your family's loss. We will always cherish the memories of seeing your mother (and father) on the Mondeaux. She was a great example of how we should take the time to soak in nature and appreciate its beauty.
    Prayers and sympathy,
    Dan, Lori, Collin, Bryant and Karlie Meyer

  6. Ruth anne Pipkorn February 5, 2018

    John and family,

    We are sorry to hear of Helen's passing.We enjoyed seeing her at the Mondeaux....but are confident that your family's legacy is in good hands .Thoughts and prayers.
    With Sympathy.

  7. Christie C February 1, 2018

    I would like to express my deepest sympathy to family and friends. May all of your good memories be greater than your sadness during this difficult time. (Isaiah 25:8)

  8. John's WSPE/MathCounts Friends January 31, 2018

    Dear John and Family,

    We are very sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Thinking of you and praying for you.

    Your friends at WSPE/MathCounts