Cover photo for LaVina "Rae" Helm's Obituary
LaVina "Rae" Helm Profile Photo
1941 Lavina "rae" 2012

LaVina "Rae" Helm

June 17, 1941 — January 11, 2012

LIFE CELEBRATION for LaVina "Rae" Helm
Saturday, April 21st, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Emmanuel Community Church
Fort Street, Bassett NE

Devotional service officiated by Pastor Dennis Quigley
Fellowship, snacks and refreshements provided by the church

Everyone is asked to wear bright Spring colors and a big smile
as we gather to honor Rae's life
and please bring your fondest memories of Rae to share with everyone.

Rae Helm, 70, of Granby, Colorado, passed away on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, with her family and close friend, Judy Doeschot, by her side at the home of her daughter near Lisco, Nebraska.

LaVina Minnie Rae Finnegan Helm was born June 17, 1941 in Lincoln, Nebraska. She grew up in Sioux City, Iowa and graduated from Central High in 1959. On June 8, 1963, Rae married Merlin Helm from Rose, Nebraska. They resided on the ranch near Rose where the couple raised two daughters. In 1985, Merlin and Rae sold the ranch and moved to Bassett. In 2005, the couple moved to Ogallala, Nebraska where Rae became involved in many volunteer activities and provided childcare for the Knoke family. Rae and Merlin celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary shortly before he passed away in 2008. In October 2010, Rae retired to Granby in Grand County, Colorado, a location she and Merlin loved and vacationed many times.

Rae was always very active in her communities. She especially enjoyed working with children; from volunteering with the Girl Scouts to listening to grade school kids read. Her favorite hobby was donning her “Rasin the Clown” outfit to tie balloons for kids at local events. In Ogallala, she was an active member of RSVP, Relay for Life, Kianas, the Methodist church and Amica Club. After moving to Granby, Rae participated in Relay for Life and fund-raising for the Grand County Animal Shelter, Pet Pals and the local food pantry.

Family, friends and children were the love of Rae’s life. She enjoyed travel, nature and animals, arts, crafts, reading, photography, walking, making and sending greeting cards, and an occasional trip to the casino with her friends.

Rae is survived by her daughters and son-in-law, Teresa and Lyle Sherfey of Lisco and Maureen Helm of Granby, CO; brothers and sisters-in-law, Tom and Mary Ann Finnegan of Sun City, AZ, Jim Finnegan of Sioux City, Don and Jeannie Finnegan of Glendale, AZ, and sister and brother-in-law, Mike and LaDonna “Kay” Olsen of Sioux City; brother- and sister-in-law, Eugene and Judy Helm of Anderson, Indiana; Aunt, Earline “Judy” Morris of Baker City, Oregon; grandchildren Andrew, and wife Candice Sherfey of Oshkosh, NE, and Stephanie and husband Matt Gilbert of Pasadena, Maryland; great-grandchildren, Atley and Landra Sherfey; exchange student daughter, Marisela Munguia and husband Gus Arichega of Hermosillo, Mexico and their children Astrid, Gustavo and Arlyn; special friends, Mike, Teresa, Grace and Lily Knoke of Ogallala; and twelve nieces and nephews.

Rae was preceded in death by her husband Merlin, and parents, Thomas and LaVina Finnegan.

A life celebration for Rae will be held in the Spring at Bassett, Nebraska. Details for the service will be announced at a later time.

Nana Rae wished for memorial donations to be put towards an education fund for her great-grandchildren, Atley and Lani, and then for her family to match funds for Grace and Lily Knoke, as well. Checks can be mailed to Teresa Sherfey at 15398 Hwy 26, Lisco, Nebraska 69148.

Family and friends may sign the guest book and leave condolences online at

Holechek Funeral Home in Oshkosh is in charge of the arrangements.

Rae wished to tell everyone thank you for all of the visits, prayers, cards, calls and support received during her illness.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of LaVina "Rae" Helm, please visit our flower store.


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