Helen Geraldine Roy, 89, of Scotia, died Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, at Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ord. The Rev. Scott Harter will celebrate the Mass. Burial will be in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Scotia.
Visitation will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church with a 7 p.m. Rosary.
Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is assisting the family.
Helen was born on March 8, 1930, on the family farm near Ashton, the daughter of Harry and Sally Ann (Kaminski) Smedra. As a child she grew up in different communities and attended country schools. She was a 1949 graduate of Loup City High School.
In the Fall of 1949, with the encouragement of her grandmother, Stella Kaminski, she entered into the Saint Francis School of Nursing. In May of 1952, she graduated as a Registered Nurse. She worked in Pediatrics at Saint Francis until she moved to Loup City where she was employed by Sacred Heart Hospital.
On June 9, 1953, she married the love of her life, Lawrence George Roy, at Loup City. The couple first made their home on a farm near Dannevirke. In 1957, they moved to irrigated farm land near Scotia, which has been her home ever since.
During her lifetime she has devoted herself to the selfless caring of others and worked as a nurse in the Loup City, Ord and St. Paul hospitals. In 1970, she started working for the Central Nebraska Community Services as the Head Start nurse for the program. She worked with over 350 children and their families each year. She also worked with the Nebraska Public Health starting the first immunization program for Central Nebraska. On May 4, 1989, she received the Nebraska Public Health Association Distinguished Service Award for her pioneering work in this area.
She retired from nursing in 1995 and has played a critical role in the reason why members of her family have decided to become Nurses, Psychologist and Speech Language Pathologist. Her pioneering spirit lead some of her children and grandchildren to start new businesses, as well as, travel far for education and take chances. She was proud of all her children’s career choices. Helen continued to work after retirement with her family in the dairy business and later cattle business.
She enjoyed crafts, garage sales, canning, embroidering and making quilts. She was known at the Junk Jaunt, as the lady with the cinnamon pickles. People would travel as far as from Texas just to make sure to get some of her cinnamon pickles.
She was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Catholic Church of Ord and its Council of Catholic Women.
She is survived by her children and spouses, Martin and Talana Roy of Overton, Kay and Roger Torske of Hastings, Pamela and Mark Geihsler of Dallas, TX, Janel and Mike Tagart of Grand Island, Daniel and DeeAnn Roy of Scotia, Steven Roy of Branson, MO, and Donald and Dena Roy of Scotia; Ten grandchildren, Brian and Christina Roy, John and Lindsey Roy, Jeremey and Kristi Geihsler, Chevis Geihsler, Kelsey and C.J. Toms, Mercedes and Travis Hargreaves, Ashley and Todd Lothrop, Shantelle Roy, Katriona Roy and fiancée Cole Koenig, and Kaitlin Roy; Eight Great-Grandchildren, Peyton, Elle, and Brooks Geihsler, Coraline, Adelaide, and Ezra Roy, Kierra and Daryn Hargreaves, and two more great-grandchildren on the way; two sisters and one brother-in-law, Betty Damratowski of Grand Island and Bonnie and Dennis Piontkowski of Bennington; she was also blessed with many wonderful nieces and nephews.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence G. Roy on Nov. 24, 2012; her parents; infant son, Thomas Roy; brother-in-law, Harold Damratowski; and nephews, Randy Damratowski and Kenneth Piontkowski.
Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society, Scotia Fire & Rescue or Alzheimer’s Association.