Cover photo for Helen Fischer's Obituary
1922 Helen 2020

Helen Fischer

September 25, 1922 — October 22, 2020

Helen “Larene” Fischer, 98

Helen “Larene” Haas Fischer fulfilled her wish to sleep away into eternity at the family’s century farm outside Frazee, Minn. on October 22, 2020.

She was welcomed by those who had preceded her, including her husband Albert (Ike), parents Albert and Helen Haas, grandparents, brothers Duane “Bud” (Grace Hert) and Donald (Jean), sisters- and brothers-in-law Francis (Lester Johnston, Orville) Kennard, Ruth (Louis) Herbst, Martin “Bud” Fischer, Rose (Bill) Ebeltoft, many aunts, uncles, cousins, and several nephews.

She was born September 25, 1922 in LeMars, Iowa, and was forever passionate about the farm she grew up on. Outside the family, she was known as Larene, but her dad started calling her Toodles, which got shortened to Toots. It was a name she disliked intensely all her life, which seemed only to encourage her brothers to use it as often as possible.

Larene received her 8th grade diploma from the nearby country school in 1935. In her youth, she developed a love for crafts and sewing. The family enjoyed socializing with friends and neighbors, and the Haas siblings were active in a rural young people’s group which held frequent dances. Larene’s extensive collection of 75 rpm vinyl is a family treasure, as is her carefully tended antique glassware.

As family legend goes, Larene had a number of suitors over the years, but her father managed to scare each one away. Then, when she was 37 years old, a letter from a distant acquaintance arrived. Some of Ike and Larene’s aunts had decided to become matchmakers and urged him to write to her and suggest they get to know each other better and possibly make a life together.

In March 1960 she responded, admitting curiosity with her typical modesty. “I’m not a Betty Grable face or figure-wise,” she wrote (though family photos contradict that,) and she cautioned Ike not to send postcards because the mailman would read them and “then tell all the news to anyone who will listen (haha.)”

Ike braved her father and repeatedly drove to Iowa for delicious meals, she packed her bags to spend the summer near the Fischer farm, and they were quietly married September 16, 1960, while everyone who went to the Friday evening football game wondered why Ike’s car was parked by the Methodist church.

Their fall honeymoon was the first of many travels together, which eventually turned into a competition to see every corner of the country and get as many free airline trips as possible. They made countless friends along the way.

Larene was a pioneer in the 10,000 steps-a-day movement and the healthy aspects of dark chocolate. Over 20 years ago, she had open heart surgery and the couple celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with the thought that they might not be together for their 50th. They kept eating their homegrown fruits and veggies and defied the odds.

Larene greatly enjoyed hairdressing outings to the Yak-Shack, was an avid bird-watcher and was well-known for her beautiful flower gardens. She hosted many family gatherings, including picnics as well as birthdays, Thanksgivings, and Christmases which saw the house overflowing with family, friends and food. She was always the final one to sit down at the table and never rested until the last dishes were washed and put away.

Some of her community activities included serving as a Camp Fire group co-leader, membership in the Frazee United Methodist Church, VFW Post 7702 Auxiliary, Frazee Community Club, and the Frazee Sled Dog Club.

She was a wonderful friend who knew the importance of being genuine. She taught her daughter, Lori, about perseverance, inner strength and regard for family, and joyfully welcomed her son-in-law Don and the adventures of grandchildren.

“I always thought I could make a home anywhere,” she said. Larene took special delight in the addition of both grandsons’ fiancées to the family. The youngest generation’s visits to her always brought beautiful smiles, and “the kids” will always be the most precious flowers in her amazing garden.

Memories of her will be cherished by her daughter Lori (Don) Thorp, grandsons Martin (Toni McHugo), and Roger (Kayla Andersen), all of Frazee, step-grandson Samuel (Loreal) Thorp and family, step-granddaughter Tracy Foster and family, nieces, nephews, and friends.

A private family memorial will be held at a later date.

~Obituary submitted by family

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