Helen Kahl

Helen M. Kahl, 97, of Storm Lake passed on Good Friday, April 10, 2020 at Methodist Manor Retirement Community.

Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Interment will take place in Holstein Cemetery. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements.

She was born on Nov. 16, 1922, the daughter of Maxwell Bert and June Leola (Dawson) Baker, in Wright County, Belmond. She attended school in both Belmond and Clarion Schools, and was a May 1942 graduate of Clarion High School. She later moved to Ankeny, working at the Ankeny Ordinance Plant.

On Dec. 20, 1945, Helen was united in marriage to Oral W. Sams, a distinguished Army war veteran who fought under General George Patton as an infantry scout. They were blessed with two sons, Donald R. Sams and Dennis L. Sams. Oral died in a farming accident near Beaman in June 1949.

Helen married Earl W. Kahl, who served in active duty in the Air Force as a tail gunner on bombing missions in the Pacific Campaign from June 13, 1944 to March 30, 1946. They were married in the Methodist Church in Holstein on Aug. 20, 1951. They settled in Merrill while Earl was engaged in farming, and where Helen was living at the time. They later moved to Holstein, closer to Earl’s family, and continued farming north of Holstein. Together, they had six children: Jeanne, Jerry, Loraile, Sherwood, Karyn and Stephanie. In March 1968, they lost their daughter Karyn in an auto accident. Later that year, they moved to Pleasantview Drive in Storm Lake, where they lived for over 30 years.

Helen had a busy life raising her children, cooking, baking, sewing, writing poetry and gardening. Other hobbies included embroidering wall hangings, table cloths, dish cloths, doilies and pillow cases. She loved writing and sending cards, letters, notes and poetry. Her cooking was wonderful, particularly baking cinnamon rolls, breads and desserts, and so much more. In her later years, she loved traveling with family, never missing a wedding or graduation. Some of her favorites were going to Hawaii, Oregon, Alaska, Branson and flying to visit her kids. Above all, she especially loved spending time with her family, serving meals in her home, attending family activities such as sports, which then continued with her grandchildren and their activities.

Helen will be forever remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She will also be remembered as someone with a kind spirit, wonderful patience, and a loving person. She will be sorely missed by many who loved her.

Helen’s places of employment besides Ankeny Ordinance Plant were Joyce’s Greenery in Storm Lake, Storm Lake Community Schools in the lunch program and Aalf’s Manufacturing.

Those left to cherish her memory include her children: Donald Sams (Karen), Dearborn, Mo.; Dennis Sams (Linda), Stevensville, Md.; Jeanne Wahrer (Greg), Smyrna, Ga.; Jerry Kahl, Storm Lake; Loraile Tuttle (Scott), Ogden; Woody Kahl (Cindy), Stockton, Mo.; Stephanie Smith (Dan), San Antonio, Texas; she had many grandchildren: Michael Sams (Jill), Chris Sams (Becky), Michelle Baker, Amy Engeman (TJ), Dawn Criste (Eric), Sandy Hayward (Kyle), Cindy Riggs (Isaac),Tiffany Covington (Donnie), James Wahrer (Tamara), Machelle Hubbs (Brandon), Jeffrey Wahrer (Joyce), Joel Tuttle (Berina), Kristin Elsasser (Brandon), Ross Tuttle (Alaina), Teri Flores (Nick), Alex Kahl, Carter Smith and Claire Smith; along with 30 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren. Helen also has one surviving brother, Howard Baker (Smithville, Mo.); and two nephews, Rick Baker and Steve Baker, and another nephew, Bobby Brunner.

Helen was preceded in death by her first husband, Oral Sams; her late husband, Earl Kahl; sister Henrietta Brunner; and daughter Karyn Machelle Kahl.

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