Helen Andrus, 106, Dickinson, passed away on Friday, March 19, 2021 at St. Benedict’s Health Center, Dickinson. Helen’s Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m., Thursday, March 25, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dickinson with Fr. Keith Streifel as celebrant and Fr. Thomas Wordekemper, OSB as concelebrant. Entombment will take place at the Dickinson Mausoleum. Visitation will be on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ladbury Funeral Service with a rosary and vigil at 7 p.m. with Deacon Al Schwindt presiding. A livestream link will be available on the funeral home website below Helen’s obituary.
Helen was born on December 19, 1914 in Bismarck, the daughter of Peter and Adelheid (Fisher) Mastel. She was the eighth of 15 children and the last surviving member of her family. The family lived in Hazelton where she grew up on the family farm. She was raised and educated in Hazelton, graduating from Hazelton High School in 1932. Helen successfully passed the North Dakota Teacher Exam and taught for a number of years at various one room country schools in Emmons County.
Helen married Fred Andrus on January 2, 1942 in Hazelton. Fred became a field agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Society in 1943. They moved to Dickinson in 1947 where they raised their family of six. Fred passed away in 2002 at the age of 96. Helen continued to live independently in her home through her 102nd birthday.
She loved fishing on the shores of Lake Sakakawea where she and Fred spent a lot of time at their small trailer on Red Butte Bay. Helen was a great fisherman, fishing for over 60 years, and she has the Whopper Club badges to prove it! She also loved picking chokecherries, juneberries, and wild plums on her hikes at the lake. Helen was an avid gardener throughout her life, gardening up to the time she entered St. Benedict’s Health Center. She spent much time and love, baking and canning produce from her huge garden and preparing homemade jelly for her family, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She is fondly remembered as “Jelly Grandma” by the youngest of her extended family.
Over the years, she was a den mother for Cub Scouts, worked as a judge for various elections and as a personal property assessor. She was an active member of Christian Mothers. She had a strong faith and was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church all of her life.
Helen is survived by her six children, James (Claudia), Hendersonville, NC, Richard (Audrey), San Rafael, Calif., William “Bill” (Shirley), Dickinson, Susann Hartwig, Centennial, Colo., David (Suzan), New Castle, Colo., and Charles “Chuck” (Sherry), Dickinson; 16 grandchildren, Scott Andrus, Julie (Randy) Rollins, Chari (Marc) Nicely, Heather Andrus, Kami (Kirk) Thompson, Kristi (Mark) Jerome, Kelly (Mike) Beyer, Corey (Vanessa) Hartwig, Ron (Amy) Hartwig, Joshua Hartwig, Mathew Andrus, Alicia (Travis) Bell, Meredith (James) Bedard, Rebecca Andrus, Ryan Andrus and Rachel Andrus; and 21 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; her parents; brothers, Lawrence, Sebastian, Pius, Andrew, Carolus, Mathias, John and George; sisters, Margaret, Elizabeth, Martha, Juliana, Rose and Regina.
She was the matriarch of the Andrus family and she will be dearly missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Assumption Abbey or St. Benedict’s Foundation. Arrangements are with Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson, www.ladburyfuneralservice.com