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Services: Valley Grove Church, rural Nerstrand

Sunday, October 16, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.                                

Helen Lucille Story was born April 12, 1918, to Andrew and Lydia Story on the family farm in rural Kenyon. At 93, she died September 20 of natural causes at Northridge Eldercare in Kenyon. Story was the eldest of four children. She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Burnham and sister Ruth (Brodd). She is survived by brother, Allan (and Jane) and many nieces and nephews.

Story attended country school and graduated from St. Olaf College in 1939. She pursued a career in English education, teaching in Butterfield, Dodge Center, and Little Falls, MN, before going on to teach in Anoka, MN, for 33 years. She primarily taught Senior English. Insistent upon proper language use, she had a reputation as a demanding but effective teacher. She developed close relationships with foreign exchange students, some of whom she visited in their native countries.

Story retired from teaching in 1979 and moved to her college town of Northfield, where she lived for 30 years. It was a logical location, given its proximity to family in Kenyon and the Twin Cities, where she frequented arts venues such as Orchestra Hall and the Guthrie Theater. She was a Minnesota Orchestra season ticket-holder for 65 years. She was a regular attendee at St. Olaf Orchestra and Choir concerts, in addition to many other events involving Classical music or theater. She and her Anoka teaching colleague, Lois Naylor, attended the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, each summer, and frequented the theater in New Haven, CT, and New York City as well.

Story’s retirement allowed her many opportunities to express her passion for geography and exploration. She and her sister Ruth Brodd operated a satellite office of Carlson Wagonlit Travel. She, Brodd, brother Allan and other family and friends traveled from the peaks of the Himalayas to the valleys of the Alps and from Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal. They reached every continent but Antarctica, but Story talked of cruising the Drake Passage South of Argentina.

While Story went off to college and to many corners of the world, she frequently inquired, "What are the men doing out home?" She routinely helped with field work and other farm chores when home from teaching school. She nurtured close relationships with her nieces and nephews, who considered her more of a parent or grandparent. She was a lover of animals, especially the "kitties" who lived with her in her retirement. She was an avid cook and baker, often hosting friends and family for meals or for one of her superb desserts with coffee after musical concerts.

Story’s family will host a memorial service on Sunday, October 16 at 2 p.m. at Valley Grove Churches in rural Nerstrand. Memorial donations may be made to the Valley Grove Preservation Society. Directions and instructions on how to donate can be found at www.valleygrovemn.com.


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