Funeral services will be held Friday, Sept. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Cherokee. Rev. Ethan D. Sayler will officiate. Burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee. There will be a family prayer service at 1:45 p.m. at the church on Friday. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. today at the Boothby Funeral Home with the family present from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Online condolences may be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.
Helen Wilcox Nonken was born in Brookings, S.D. to Samuel and Gladys (Duff) Wilcox on Sept. 25, 1925. She attended rural school in District 31 for eight years and graduated from Brookings High School in 1943.
Following graduation, she enrolled at Nettleton Commercial College in Sioux Falls, S.D. Before completion of the two-year course, she was hired for a position with the SDSU College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences Extension Service. She became Extension's finance clerk in 1951. In July 1954, Helen was awarded a Federal appointment as a finance officer with the State Extension Service and in 1967 was promoted to a position of Administrative Assistant, a position she held until her retirement in 1980.
On Feb. 8, 1981, Helen and Vernon Nonken were united in marriage at the First United Methodist Church in Brookings after which, they made their home in Cherokee. Helen was a member and Elder of Memorial Presbyterian Church had served as a Church Deaconess and was active in many other activities of the church. Helen was a member of the Business & Professional Women's organization for a number of years. She felt very honored when she was selected as Cherokee's Woman of the Year. Helen and Vernon both enjoyed all kinds of crafts. Vernon passed away in 1994 and Helen continued to live in her home until the past few years when she has been cared for at Careage Hills in Cherokee.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and a sister and brother-in-law: Merlyn and George Cole.
Helen is survived by one niece: Cathy Cole Williams of California; a nephew by marriage Dennis Smith and his wife Sharon of Mesa Ariz.; several cousins and many friends. In addition, she leaves behind special friends Theresa Erschens of Brookings, S.D. and Penny Lundell of Cherokee.