Helen Bernice Christen died in Bellingham, Washington on May 31, 2019 at the age of 106.
Helen was born April 28, 1913, in Everett, WA to Swedish parents Emris and Helga (Peterson) Goodlund. The family moved to the small community of Bell Creek in Whatcom County in 1916 when Helen was 3 years old. She attended the one room Bell Creek Grade School, and Mt. Baker High School, graduating in 1930. She married Leonard Christen on November 10, 1934 and enjoyed nearly 66 years of married life with her cherished husband. Helen loved being a housewife and mother of their 3 children. She enjoyed entertaining, inviting many friends and family for dinner.
In her 106 years Helen was amazed at the changes she experienced. She saw her first electric light bulb at grade school and traveled by horse and buggy the first 10 years of her life. Water was obtained by a bucket from a well. Outhouses were a necessary commodity. She sang a song about the man in the moon little knowing that man would walk on the moon and live in space. It was a lifetime of wonder.
Helen was an accomplished pianist and began playing the piano for church at age 13. She continued playing for church services for many years. Her other interests included making quilts, sewing her own clothes, knitting, gardening, cooking, camping at Bell Creek and traveling with Leonard. She cherished her Swedish heritage and passed along to her family many loved recipes, traditions, and music. Over the years she was involved in many women’s groups including sewing and quilting groups, Orthopedic Guild, Women’s Missionary society.
Helen worshipped at Cornwall Church. She was thrilled to be loved by so many who watched over her these past several years since the death of Leonard. She always loved Sunday school, church, and visiting with everyone every Sunday. The last years of her life she became more emboldened to share her faith in Jesus Christ, and wanted others to know the peace and blessings of trusting Jesus also. Helen’s greatest joy was to know that her life was a living testimony of God’s grace and faithfulness.
Being with family was very important to Helen. Her family is so thankful for the many hours she spent praying and caring for them. She is survived by her children, Dean Christen (Dorothy), Sumas, Carolyn Smith (Terry) Bellingham, Sharon Davenport (Howard) Kent, 11 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her infant daughter, Marilyn in 1941, and her husband, Leonard, who passed away in 2000.
In these last several years, Helen continued to live in her home with the loving help of family and wonderful caregivers.
Helen was laid to rest on June 6, 2019 at Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale, WA.
A Memorial Celebration of Helen’s life will be held Sunday, June 23, 2019, 2:00PM at Cornwall Church, 4518 Northwest Dr, Bellingham, WA 98226. The family requests that donations be given to Service, Missions and Fellowship, a ministry of Cornwall Church.