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Helen Francis Wendling

Helen Francis Wendling was born September 5, 1917, to Alfred and Margo Wendling in Chicago, IL. She attended both grade school and high school on the south side of Chicago. After graduating from Grinnell College, Iowa, she taught Latin and U.S. history for a time in Hillsboro, IL. In 1940, she received her Master’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Her thesis was on the Mexican Oil Crisis. Fifty years later, she visited her thesis, still on the open shelves at the Michener Library.

After getting her Master’s, she accepted a teaching position at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, IL, where she remained for more than 40 years! When she retired, she was the head of the Guidance Department.

While at Grinnell, one of her roommates introduced her to Rocky Mountain National Park, which began a deep spiritual connection that lasted until her death. Helen and her long time friend and companion, Mary Brinkmann (also a Glenbard teacher), bought a small cabin in Estes Park for summer visits. Over the years, their cabin grew and grew. After they both retired, they moved permanently to that “cabin”, now a large house. Over the years, both Helen and Mary willingly shared their home with many visitors. Everyone always knew they would be welcomed. People usually just walked in and automatically sat down at the round dining room table with Twin Sisters looking at them from the south and the Continental Divide looking at them from the west.

Most of Helen’s friends of her generation have gone on before her but she still leaves behind many friends and acquaintances in both Colorado and Illinois.

Memorials may be made to the Estes Park Pet Association or Estes Park Hospice. Helen will be buried at the Estes Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery in her beloved Rockies.

The funeral service for Helen Wendling will be held on Friday, September 14, 2012 at 11:00 a.m., at Allnutt Funeral Service, located at 3101 Graves Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517. The graveside service will be held immediately following at Estes Valley Memorial Gardens, located at 1672 Fish Hatchery Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517. A celebration gathering will be held immediately following the graveside service at 370 Ponderosa Ave, Estes Park, CO 80517.


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