Helen Magnuson
Helen Magnuson

Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, August 26, 2023
St. Paul Lutheran Church
277 W. Pine Grove Road
Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania, United States

Obituary of Helen M. Magnuson

Helen Caroline Meseck Magnuson, 92, of State College passed away on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, at Centre Care Rehabilitation Center after an extended battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was born January 8, 1931, in Harvard, Illinois, the daughter of Gordon and Alice (Wegner) Meseck. On August 25, 1951, she married Edward L. Magnuson, who preceded her in death on May 31, 2005.

She is survived by her three daughters: Karen Magnuson (Roger L. Williams) of State College; Krista (Daniel) Field of Queensbury, NY; and Karol Magnuson (Rosemarie Calgiano) of State College; six grandchildren: Jessica Horne, Philip Horne, Aubrie Field, Schuyler (Rebecca) Field, Kacie (Michael) Rudy, and Tara (Brian) Johnson; and three great-grandchildren: Alexander and Seth Field, and Liam Rudy. She also is survived by two sisters: Shirley (Leonard) Zoellick of Huntley, Illinois, and Alice McCarthy of Marion, Iowa.

Helen always lived life on the go! She grew up in northern Illinois in a lively household with her parents, brother, and four sisters. In high school, she excelled as a cheerleader, singing in church and school choirs, and playing the bells in the marching band. She majored in music at Carthage College before marrying Ed Magnuson in 1951 and moving to Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Department of the U.S. Navy at the Pentagon. In 1954, Helen and Ed moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where Helen began her new career as a full-time mother and homemaker.

Helen balanced her home life with many interests and activities. For most of her adult life, she was an avid league bowler and a USTA tennis player. She also enjoyed swimming, hiking, and cross-country skiing. She was a faithful member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Grove Mills where she sang in the choir and served on countless councils, committees, and women's groups. She also was passionate about serving the community. She was a member of the League of Women Voters and worked the polls on election days. She volunteered for many years with the local Red Cross, working blood drives and donating blood. She was an active member of The Voluntary Action Centre, a community-service nonprofit; helped to run the Volunteers in Prison program and fundraisers that led to the opening of CentrePeace; and volunteered for many years with Special Olympics, helping to run the tennis events. She also was a delivery driver for Meals on Wheels and the Park Forest Daycare Center. In later years, she traveled extensively, visiting Japan, China, Egypt, Hawaii, Caribbean islands, Russia, and numerous countries throughout Europe.

Most of all, Helen was a dedicated mother, and an amazing grandmother. She delighted in all their activities, sports, and performances, and never missed an opportunity to take part in their lives. Next to the humans in her life, she also loved her four Golden Retrievers—Tina, Muffin, Kali, and Zoe, and her last dog, Ginger, a rescued Border Collie.

In addition to her parents and husband, Helen was preceded in death by her brother Clarence Meseck, sisters Charlotte McComb and Geraldine Porter, and infant great-granddaughter, Mina Field.

The family is grateful for the care and attention Helen received from her personal home caregivers, and later from staff at Harmony at State College and Centre Care. Most of all, we are especially thankful for Teresa Bacon, whose extraordinary care, humor, and love brought much joy to Helen for the past eight years.

A memorial service will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pine Grove Mills, PA on Saturday, August 26, at 11:00 a.m., followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift in Helen's name to St. Paul Lutheran Church (https://www.stpaulpgm.org/), or Interfaith Human Services, State College, PA (https://www.interfaithhumanservices.org/).


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